February 21, 2022
CPAP May Not Help Octogenarians

Study shows CPAP doesn’t improve symptoms of sleep apnea in patients over the age of 80,

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While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the tried and true, go-to treatment for people diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, it may not benefit patients aged 80 or older.

A study involving 369 sleep apnea patients above the age of 70 was conducted over a three-month period. Roughly half were treated with CPAP. Study investigators measured sleepiness levels, sleep-related quality of life, anxiety & depression and blood pressure of the participants. The results were then divided and compared between those above and below the age of 80.

No improvements in sleep apnea symptoms, quality of life, mood related symptoms or blood pressure were seen in the 80 and above age group that used CPAP as compared to those who didn’t.

The result may be attributable to the more sedentary lifestyles and comorbidities common in octogenarians which may outweigh the effects of CPAP, adding to that that this age group is less likely to use CPAP therapy in the long term. The study has raised numerous questions regarding the use of CPAP for this age group and additional studies should be conducted. According to Hema Shaddarshanam, PIC, “Research studies like this one provide valuable insights for those charged with caring for elderly patients such as those in LTC facilities. At SpecialtyRx we share these insights because helping our clients provide the best care possible is always our goal”.