Compression Stockings Lessen Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Reduction in apnea and hypopnea in non-obese patients with chronic venous insufficiency

FRIDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), wearing compression stockings during the day attenuates OSA by reducing fluid accumulation in the legs and its overnight redistribution into the neck, according to a study published online Aug. 11 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Stefania Redolfi, M.D., from the Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, and colleagues assessed whether wearing compression stockings during the day attenuated OSA by reducing the amount of fluid displaced into the neck overnight, in non-obese patients with CVI and OSA. A total of 12 patients were randomly assigned to one week of wearing compression stockings or a one-week control period without wearing compression stockings and then switched to the other group. At baseline and at the end of the stocking intervention and control periods, polysomnography and measurement of overnight changes in leg fluid volume and neck circumference were carried out.

The investigators found that, at the end of the compression period, there was a 62 percent reduction in the overnight leg fluid volume change compared to the end of the control period. Overnight neck circumference increase decreased by 60 percent. These results were associated with a significant, 36 percent reduction in the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep (from 48.4± 26.9 to 31.3± 20.2).

"Redistribution of fluid from the legs into the neck at night contributes to the pathogenesis of OSA in subjects with CVI. Prevention of fluid accumulation in the legs during the day, and its nocturnal displacement into the neck, attenuates OSA in such subjects," the authors write.

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Physician’s Briefing Staff

Published on August 12, 2011

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