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
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
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
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.
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