In heart failure (HF) sleep problems and sleep-related breathing disorders are frequently reported and are associated with poor prognosis. However, only few large clinical studies have investigated this issue in heart failure through breathing pattern analysis by polysomnography.
The possible determinants of sleep related breathing disorders were analyzed through stepwise logistic regression analysis and two multivariate models showing that a markedly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction was the most important factor associated with central sleep apneas (OR = 7.7 for AHI cutoff = 15 and LVEF ≤ 35%) together with male gender and increasing age. Conventional risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea did not identify HF patients affected by this condition. Conversely, a greater neck circumference was associated with an increased risk for central apneas.
The data from this paper offer a deeper insight into the features of sleep-related breathing disorders and its determinants in HF patients, leading in turn to a better clinical management of these comorbid patients.