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Sleep Disorder Linked to Heart Failure Patient Deaths

death rate for the patients with OSA who were treated with a device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The device applies air pressure via a mask placed over the nose during sleep. The continuous air pressure flows through the nose into the throat, propping it open and preventing it from collapsing during sleep. This allows a person to breathe without interruptions.

There were no deaths in the groups of 14 heart failure patients who had OSA and who were also treated with the CPAP device for at least three months. However, of the 37 patients with untreated sleep apnea, nine patients (24%) died. Patients in each group were similar in symptom severity, heart failure therapy and other factors.

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