Neomi Shah, MD, MPH, studied patients with sleep apnea to uncover its effect on arterial inflammation.
How does obstructive sleep apnea before and after treatment affect arterial inflammation - the plaques that develop in the walls of the arteries?
Using CPAP for three months certainly seems to help. In a study of 5 patients, it reduced plaque activity by 5.6%, Shah said.
"CPAP helps vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, but if you're already on a statin, we're not sure what the added benefit of CPAP therapy would be," she explained. "That would be our next phase - to try to understand if CPAP independently reduces atherosclerosis or whether statins will attenuate the beneficial effects of CPAP."