Relationship of obstractive sleep apnea with cardiovascular disease and the role of lifestyle habits in the management of the cardiometabolic complications of the disease

Ioanna Kechribari, Michael Georgoulis, Meropi Kontogianni, Emmanuel Vagiakis, Nikos Yiannakouris



Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a chronic and common sleep disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of partial or complete collapse of the upper airway during sleep, leading to pauses of breathing and arousals. Although previously considered as a respiratory disorder, it is nowadays recognized as a systemic disease, which is strongly associated with various metabolic diseases, such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Moreover, during the last decades, OSA has been recognized as an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, making the treatment of the disease necessary. So far, the first line treatment for OSA is the continuous positive airway pressure, a therapy that has been proven effective in alleviating the disease’s symptoms, however, other approaches for the prevention and treatment of the disease and the associated cardiometabolic risk factors are under investigation, including changes in lifestyle habits (dietary habits and physical activity). This review article discusses the relationship of OSA with cardiovascular disease and summarizes the results from interventional studies that have investigated the effects of lifestyle changes on cardiometabolic risk factors associated with OSA.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, lifestyle habits, weight loss