Bastien Lechat, Kelly A Loffler, Amy C Reynolds, Ganesh R. Naik, Andrew Vakulin, Garry Jennings, Pierre Escourrou, R Doug McEvoy, Robert J Adams, Peter G Catcheside, Danny J Eckert
Nature Digital Medicine (nPj), Volume 6 Issue 1 Pages 57. Journal Ranking Q1, Impact Factor 15.2
Publication year: 2023

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity can vary markedly from night-to-night. However, the impact of night-to-night variability in OSA severity on key cardiovascular outcomes such as hypertension is unknown. Thus, the primary aim of this study is to determine the effects of night-to-night variability in OSA severity on hypertension likelihood. This study uses in-home monitoring of 15,526 adults with ~180 nights per participant with an under-mattress sleep sensor device, plus ~30 repeat blood pressure measures. OSA severity is defined from the mean estimated apnea–hypopnoea index (AHI) over the ~6-month recording period for each participant. Night-to-night variability in severity is determined from the standard deviation of the estimated AHI across recording nights. Uncontrolled hypertension is defined as mean systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or mean diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg. Regression analyses are performed adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index. A total of 12,287 participants (12% female) are included in the analyses. Participants in the highest night-to-night variability quartile within each OSA severity category, have a 50–70% increase in uncontrolled hypertension likelihood versus the lowest variability quartile, independent of OSA severity. This study demonstrates that high night-to-night variability in OSA severity is a predictor of uncontrolled hypertension, independent of OSA severity. These findings have important implications for the identification of which OSA patients are most at risk of cardiovascular harm.