Study Objectives: Uncertainty exists over whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment improves moderate to vigorous physical activity levels in those with obstructive sleep apnea. We aimed to determine effects of CPAP on moderate to vigorous physical activity among participants with co-occurring cardiovascular disease and obstructive sleep apnea.
Methods: The Sleep Apnea cardioVascular Endpoints (SAVE) trial recruited participants with confirmed cardiovascular disease history and obstructive sleep apnea, 45-75 years old. The 2, 687 participants (1, 346 randomized to CPAP plus usual care and 1, 341 to usual care alone) were followed up for a mean of 3.7 years. Self-reported physical activity was recorded at baseline, 6, 24, and 48 months using the Godin-Shepard Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ). We also determined effects on any limitation of physical activity reported on the physical functioning subscale of the 36-item short form questionnaire (SF-36) and proportions of participants reaching guideline recommended physical activity levels.
Results: Among 2, 601 participants with available data, those in the CPAP group reported significantly more physical activity compared to the usual care group, with approximately 20% higher reported moderate activities on the LTEQ during follow-up (adjusted mean 95% confidence interval) scores: 8.7, 7.5-9.9 vs 7.3, 6.1-8.5; P = .003). Those in the CPAP group also reported less limitation in physical activity (adjusted between-group difference in SF-36 physical functioning subscale score 1.66, 95%confidence interval 0.87-2.45; P < 0.001), and more reported sufficient levels of physical activity to meet recommendations.
Conclusions: CPAP has positive effects on improving physical activity levels, consistent with long-term health benefits.
- Continuous positive airway pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Physical activity