New research published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has shown that treating sleep apnea by way of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine lowers inflammatory markers. The long-term effects of sleep apnea have been well documented, such as a being at a higher for stroke and diabetes. Just recently, in children, it was shown to contribute to developmental issues like poor attention span and lower grades. But, a new study points to a bit of hope in treating the sleep disorder that affects 18 million Americans.
Frequently those that suffer from sleep apnea are treated by use of a CPAP mask, which is worn at night. CPAP machines help breathing by applying small amounts of pressure that keep the airways open.
Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases have been associated with increased levels of so-called inflammatory markers in the blood. The use of CPAP machines to reduce sleep apnea has been shown to decrease the levels of these inflammatory markers in blood. This suggests that the incidents of stroke and heart disease may be reduced by use of a CPAP machine.