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Sleep Apnea in Kidney Transplant Patients Assessed

Prevalence similar in those with or awaiting transplant, but recipients at hypertension risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients with kidney disease who underwent or are awaiting transplant is similar, but transplant recipients with the sleep disorder may be at higher risk for hypertension, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Miklos Zsolt Molnar, M.D., of Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, and colleagues conducted a study of 100 kidney transplant patients and 50 wait-listed patients who provided information about medication and comorbidities. Participants underwent one-night polysomnography as part of the SLeep disorders Evaluation in Patients after kidney Transplantation (SLEPT) Study.

The researchers found that in the transplant group, mild, moderate and severe OSA was diagnosed in 18, 11 and 14 percent of patients, respectively. For those in the wait-listed group, the incidence was 28, 16 and 10 percent, respectively. Transplant patients were significantly more likely to be treated with three or more antihypertensive drugs if they were in the OSA group. In addition, these patients continued to have higher blood pressure as compared to those without OSA.

"The prevalence of OSA was high in both the transplant and the wait-listed groups. In addition, transplant patients with OSA had higher blood pressure despite taking more antihypertensive medications," the authors write. "We suggest that screening for OSA should be routinely performed, and appropriate treatment should be offered for transplant patients."

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