Effects of Exercise Training on Left Ventricular Diastolic Function Markers in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Randomized Study

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Abstract Background Exercise training (ET) is an adjunctive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and its consequences. However, the effects of exercise on heart remodeling are unknown in the population with OSA. Objective We investigated the effect of ET on markers of diastolic function, sleep parameters, and functional capacity in patients with OSA. Methods Sedentary patients with OSA (apnea-hypopnea index, AHI ≥15 events/hr) were randomly assigned to untrained (n=18) and trained (n=20) strategies. Polysomnography, cardiopulmonary exercise test, and echocardiography were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. ET consisted of 3 weekly sessions of aerobic exercise, resistance exercises, and flexibility training (72 sessions, completed in 11.65±0.86 months). A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used, followed by Tukey's post-hoc test. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05 for all analyses. Result Thirty-eight patients were included (AHI:45±29 events/hr, age:52±7 y, body mass index: 30±4 kg/m2). They had similar baseline parameters. ET caused a significant change in OSA severity (AHI:4.5±18 versus -5.7±13 events/hr; arousal index:1.5±8 versus -6.1±13 events/hr, in untrained and trained groups respectively, p<0.05). The trained patients had an increase in functional capacity after intervention. ET improved isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT, untrained=6.5±17.3 versus trained=-5.1±17.1 msec, p<0.05). There was a significant correlation between changes in IVRT and arousal index in the trained group (r =-0.54, p<0.05). No difference occurred in the other diastolic function parameters evaluated. Conclusion ET promotes modest but significant improvement in AHI, functional capacity, and cardiac IVRT, a validated parameter of diastolic function.
Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Heart Ventricles, Exercise
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