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Impact of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on atrial fibrillation burden in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea: A cohort study

Macquarie University

  • Cardiovascular Early-Mid Career Researcher Grant
Date Funded:
  • 18 November, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor Chrishan Nalliah

Project Summary

The purpose of this study is to obtain pilot data for a multicentre randomised trial evaluating the impact of CPAP therapy on atrial fibrillation (AF) burden.

What is the issue for NSW?

Approximately 163,000 people in NSW have AF, with an excess of 20,000 admissions for AF in 2018/19 alone. The high prevalence of disease and increasing rate of hospitalisation for AF places an enormous strain on the health care system.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder of sleep associated with transient obstruction of the upper airways and is diagnosed in more than 50% of AF patients. This raises the potential for sleep apnoea to form a target for treatment. However, to date only low-quality data supporting sleep apnoea management exists. Furthermore, these data are restricted to patients having procedures to eradicate AF. Therefore, these observations cannot be generalised to the entire AF population.

High quality data are required to determine whether sleep apnoea management results in a reduction in the amount of AF suffered by a patient.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This study will aim to determine whether sleep apnoea management reduces the amount of AF a patient has (AF burden). It will be the first study to evaluate this issue, providing meaningful clinical data that can be translated into practice.

Additionally, this study will also evaluate whether sleep apnoea therapy reduces symptoms of AF and changes in cardiac structure.

Results from this study will form the basis for a large multicentre randomised trial evaluating the impact of sleep apnoea management on AF burden.