What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is it a risk factor for hypertension (high blood pressure)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common but frequently undiagnosed sleep-related breathing disorder defined as an average of at least 10 apneic and hypopenic episodes per sleep hour, which leads to excessive daytime sleepiness. Multiple studies have shown OSA to be an independent risk factor for the development of essential hypertension, even after adjusting for age, gender, and degree of obesity.


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