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BACKGROUND: Obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Our study examined arterial stiffness and endothelial function in subjects with OSAHS with no known cardiovascular disease compared to well-matched controls. METHODS: Twenty subjects with OSAHS (defined as apnoea-hypopnoea index [AHI] > or =15 and Epworth Sleepiness Scale score > or =11) without cardiovascular disease and 20 well-matched controls underwent a comprehensive evaluation of arterial stiffness and endothelial function. Arterial stiffness was measured by applanation tonometry and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endothelial function assessed by measuring vascular reactivity after administration of glyceryl trinitrate and salbutamol. RESULTS: Subjects with OSAHS had increased arterial stiffness (augmentation index 19.3 [10.9] vs. 12.6 (10.2)%; p=0.017) and impaired endothelial function (change in augmentation index following salbutamol -4.3 (3.2) vs. -8.0 (4.9)%; p=0.02) compared to controls. Aortic distensibility, a measure of arterial stiffness, was negatively correlated with the AHI. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that even in the absence of known cardiovascular disease, subjects with OSAHS have increased arterial stiffness and impaired endothelial function and are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Sleep med

Publication Date





428 - 432


Adult, Aorta, Aortic Diseases, Diabetic Angiopathies, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Humans, Male, Manometry, Middle Aged, Morbidity, Pulsatile Flow, Risk Factors, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Vascular Stiffness