Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study shows that CPAP therapy reduces fatigue, increases energy in patients with sleep apnea

Randomized control trial shows that CPAP has a therapeutic benefit on fatigue beyond placebo effects

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea often report that they feel like "a new person" after beginning treatment with continuous positive airway pressure therapy. A new study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP provides objective evidence to support these anecdotal reports, showing that three weeks of CPAP therapy significantly reduced fatigue and increased energy in patients with OSA.

Results of the randomized controlled trial show that CPAP therapy significantly reduced self-reported, mean fatigue scores on two independent measures: from 8.76 at baseline to -0.10 post-treatment on the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory – Short Form; and from 7.17 at baseline to 4.03 post-treatment on the fatigue-inertia subscale of the Profile of Mood States – Short Form. These results indicate that participants were no longer suffering from clinically significant levels of fatigue after the three-week intervention period.

Self-reported energy levels also increased after three weeks of CPAP therapy, with the mean score on the vigor-activity subscale of the Profile of Mood States – Short Form increasing significantly from 14.28 at baseline to 16.52 post-treatment. Significant changes in fatigue and energy were not observed in participants who received placebo CPAP.

"This was one of the first double-blind studies of the effects of CPAP on fatigue," said lead author Lianne Tomfohr, graduate research assistant in the joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. "These results are important, as they highlight that patients who comply with CPAP therapy can find relief from fatigue and experience increases in energy and vigor after a relatively short treatment period."

Further analysis found that CPAP appeared to be especially beneficial for participants who were excessively fatigued or sleepy before treatment. CPAP therapy significantly reduced self-reported daytime sleepiness in this group, with their mean score on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale dropping from 13.0 at baseline to 8.9 post-treatment.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, OSA is a common sleep-related breathing disorder that affects at least two to four percent of the adult population. OSA occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, and they often experience fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness.

The treatment of choice for OSA is CPAP therapy, which provides a steady stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open to prevent pauses in breathing and restore normal oxygen levels.

Tomfohr and a team of UCSD researchers studied 59 adults with a mean age of 48 years. Overnight polysomnography in a sleep lab confirmed that each participant had OSA, which was defined as having an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 10 or more partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing per hour of sleep.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive either therapeutic CPAP or placebo CPAP, and they returned to the sleep lab for a night of either CPAP titration or mock titration. Participants were trained on the use of the equipment and instructed to use it at home each night for three weeks. Questionnaire data were obtained prior to study randomization and after the three-week intervention period.

According to the authors, the mechanisms that underlie the observed changes in fatigue are unclear. They speculate that CPAP may impact fatigue in patients with OSA by reducing inflammation, noting that increases in inflammatory markers in OSA patients have been related to elevated fatigue.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute on Aging; and National Center for Research Resources.

Help for people who have OSA is available at more than 2,000 AASM-accredited sleep disorders centers across the U.S. More information about CPAP is available from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine at

The monthly peer-reviewed, scientific journal SLEEP is published online by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The AASM is a professional membership society that is the leader in setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.

For a copy of the study, "Effects of continuous positive airway pressure on fatigue and sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: data from a randomized controlled trial," or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson, please contact Public Relations Coordinator Emilee McStay at 630-737-9700, ext. 9345, or

Emilee McStay | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>