Published: 12 June 2021

Authors: Martina Meszaros, Alexander G. Mathioudakis, Maria Xanthoudaki, Victoria Sircu, Evangelia Nena, Jørgen Vestbo, Alexandru Corlateanu, Paschalis Steiropoulos & Andras Bikov

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 197


    Daytime sleepiness is a cardinal symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and a well-recognised side effect of beta-blockers, therefore patients with OSA under this treatment may have worse sleepiness. However, the interaction between daytime sleepiness and beta-blockers use has not been thoroughly investigated in patients with OSA before. We analysed the data of 2183 individuals (1852 patients with OSA and 331 snorer controls) from 3 countries (Greece, Hungary and Moldova). Medical history, including medication usage and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were recorded. Patients and controls were divided into somnolent (ESS ≥ 11) and non-somnolent (ESS < 11) groups, and the association between-blocker use with the somnolent group was investigated with multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders. Sensitivity analyses were performed in each cohort, in the severity subgroups, in patients who did not take statins and in those who had polysomnography as a diagnostic test. There was no relationship between beta-blocker usage and the somnolent OSA (p = 0.24) or control (p = 0.64) groups. These results were similar in sensitivity analyses (all p > 0.05). ESS was related to BMI (ρ = 0.25), total sleep time (ρ = 0.07), AHI (ρ = 0.32), oxygen desaturation index (ρ = 0.33) and minimum oxygen saturation (ρ =  – 0.32, all p < 0.05) in OSA, and was higher in patients with hypertension, diabetes and cerebro/cardiovascular disease and those who took statins (all p < 0.05). In general, beta-blockers are not associated with increased daytime sleepiness in OSA. Thus, the diagnosis of OSA should not discourage initiation of beta-blocker treatment, if it is clinically indicated.

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