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New study shows link between OSA treatments and healthy hearts

Posted on January 5th, 2021

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has shown how obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment can prevent or reverse cardiovascular disease in prediabetic patients.

OSA and prediabetes or diabetes are common comorbidities among Americans. Sixty percent of Americans with OSA have either prediabetes or diabetes. Yet 80% of OSA cases are never diagnosed, and most Americans are rarely screened for the disorder.

This can have an outsized effect on patient health. In metabolic syndrome, multiple conditions combine to impact a patient’s health. Improving one area of patient health can, in turn, improve total body health and help reverse some conditions. OSA contributes to many of the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.   

In the most recent study, scientists measured the effect of CPAP treatment for sleep apnea on resting heart rate. The researchers found that not only did treatment lower night-time resting heart rate but it also lowered daytime resting heart rate.

The improvement in heart health from CPAP use was as great as the improvement that patients see when they begin to exercise regularly. In a past study of prediabetic patients, researchers found that treatment also reduced blood sugar levels and therefore reduced the chances that a patient would develop type 2 diabetes.

This study represents great news for dental practitioners and our patients. When we screen for and treat sleep apnea, we don’t just improve our patients’ rest. We change their risk factors for chronic disease and help them live longer and healthier lives. Most PCPs only see middle-aged patients every few years. Meanwhile, dentists see many of their patients twice a year. Dentists are perfectly placed to catch these issues before they become life-altering diseases.

To learn more about adding sleep apnea services to your practice, register for Dr. Dassani’s adult sleep apnea course. This online course is perfect for busy doctors who want to add a much-needed service to their practices. 

Dr. Meghna Dassani has practiced dentistry for over two decades and is passionate about the role dentists play in whole-body health. You can learn more at her website:

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