Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment and CareISSN: 2325-9639

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Improvements in quality of life in female obstructive sleep apnea patients using a gender specific positive airway pressure device

Study Objectives: Females with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have more flow limitation, lower apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), shorter apneas, and less severe oxygen desaturations than males. A female-specific auto-adjusting continuous positive airway pressure (fAPAP) algorithm has been developed to target these characteristics. This study investigated the effects of fAPAP therapy on quality of life (QoL) in women with OSA.

Methods: Female patients with AHI ≥ 15/h were eligible. Participants underwent polygraphy or polysomnography. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ) score after 3 months’ fAPAP (AutoSet for Her, ResMed). Secondary endpoints included other sleep-related and QoL questionnaires.

Results: A total of 122 patients were enrolled in the study (age 53.7 ± 9.5 years, body mass index 32.8 ± 6.2 kg/m2, apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] 39.0 ± 18.2/h); 111/122 completed the study. There was a significant improvement (p<0.0001) in FOSQ score from baseline (15.0 ± 3.3) to 3 months (16.9 ± 3.2). Significant improvements were also seen in the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score (12.3 ± 6.0 vs. 7.2 ± 5.4), Epworth Sleepiness Scale score (10.8 ± 4.9 vs. 7.3 ± 4.7), EuroQol (EQ)-5D Index score (0.636 ± 0.248 vs. 0.763 ± 0.210), EQ-5D visual analogue scale score (54.4 ± 21.7 vs. 64.5 ± 21.5) (all p<0.0001), and Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire score (38.7 ± 9.5 vs. 42.4 ± 8.5; p=0.001). In patients with PSG data, fAPAP improved other respiratory parameters (AHI, oxygen desaturation index, oxygen saturation; all p<0.0001), and increased time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (39.7 ± 24.0 vs. 48.1 ± 24.5 min; p=0.022). Average daily fAPAP usage was 4.8 ± 2.0 h/night.

Conclusion: Usage of fAPAP significantly improved QoL and increased REM sleep, with good treatment compliance.

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