Australasian researchers seek snorers for study to reduce heart risks

Tuesday August 23, 2011

A major global study into the deadly risks associated with snoring is still calling for more New Zealanders to volunteer in the study so it can reach its target of 5,000 patients worldwide.

The SAVE study (Sleep Apnea* Cardiovascular Endpoints Study) will determine if treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can reduce the incidence of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

Canterbury District Health Board Respiratory and Sleep Physician Dr Michael Hlavac says obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where relaxation of throat muscles causes a person to stop breathing for several seconds at a time during sleep. The condition often causes loud snoring and can cause sleepiness and poor concentration.

“About 10 per cent of middle-aged men and four per cent of middle-aged women in the general population have sleep apnoea, causing them to wake up at least 15 times or more an hour,” Dr Hlavac says.

Researchers will measure the effectiveness of a sleep apnea treatment known as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The treatment uses a mask to push air into the airways of people who snore and stop breathing which helps them breathe easier during sleep.

Dr Hlavac says they are seeking people aged between 45-75 years to take part in the study who snore loudly and have ever experienced a heart attack or stroke, angina, bypass surgery, a coronary artery stent or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Study participants will be randomly allocated to a CPAP treatment group or a group which continues to receive their normal medical care. Both treatment methods will be compared to determine their effectiveness.​

Page last reviewed: 13 February 2014