Increased Dietary Sodium Is Related to Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients With Resistant Hypertension and Hyperaldosteronism

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Abstract

Background:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a strong and independent risk factor for the development of hypertension, particularly resistant hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Patients with resistant hypertension have a high prevalence of OSA in association with elevated aldosterone levels, high salt intake, and salt-sensitive BP. The objective of this study was to determine whether dietary salt and aldosterone are associated with severity of OSA in patients with resistant hypertension.

Methods:

Ninety-seven patients with resistant hypertension were prospectively evaluated by overnight polysomnography and 24-h urinary sodium and aldosterone levels while maintaining their usual diet. Hyperaldosteronism was defined as a plasma renin activity of < 1 ng/mL/h and urinary aldosterone level of ≥ 12 μg/24 h.

Results:

Overall, patients' mean clinic BP was 156.3 ± 22.4/88.9 ± 13.3 mm Hg while taking an average of 4.3 ± 1.1 antihypertensive medications. Prevalence of OSA was 77.3%. Twenty-eight (28.9%) patients had hyperaldosteronism. Urinary sodium level was an independent predictor of severity of OSA only in patients with hyperaldosteronism.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest that dietary salt is related to the severity of OSA in patients with resistant hypertension and hyperaldosteronism. The results support dietary salt restriction as a treatment strategy for reduction of OSA severity in these patients.

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