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Positive airway pressure treatment itself associated with less wheezing.

Treatment with positive airway pressure (PAP) for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for two years is associated with a decrease in nighttime heartburn and respiratory symptoms, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in ERJ Open Research.

Össur Ingi Emilsson, M.D., from University of Iceland in Reykjavik, and colleagues studied the effect of PAP treatment on nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux (nGER) and respiratory symptoms among 732 patients with newly diagnosed OSA.

The researchers found that PAP treatment among full users resulted in a decreased presence of nGER (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.58) and wheezing (aOR, 0.56) at two-year follow-up compared with partial/non-PAP users. Across levels of PAP use, decreases in nGER were associated with a decrease in productive morning cough (aOR, 4.70) and a decrease in chronic bronchitis (aOR, 3.86). However, decreases in nGER were not associated with decreased wheezing (aOR, 0.90; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.39 to 2.08). PAP treatment directly led to a decrease in wheezing, which was not mediated through nGER. However, decreased productive cough with PAP treatment was mediated through a decrease in nGER.

“For OSA patients with wheezing or nGER, PAP treatment is likely to have a beneficial effect,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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