Can Sleep Apnea cause Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

by Jeff

I have been using a CPAP machine for for about 8 years yet I'm still experiencing a lot of the problems associated with sleep apnea.

Dizziness, pressure in my head, tingling in my head, anxiety etc.

I have been looking through my old military medical records to see if there is something else that could be causing these symptoms because my VA doctor is very tight lipped when I go in with an issue.

I found one reference in my records to HCM. Can sleep apnea cause HCM and can HCM cause some of my symptoms?


The coexistence of sleep apnea and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been largely unrecognized in the treatment of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Sleep apnea can worsen the hemodynamics and symptoms in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy due to nocturnal hypoxia.

It was noticed that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is much higher in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Therefore patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy should always be screened for OSA.

A study published in the May Chest says that after performing laboratory evaluations, echocardiography, cardiography and sleep studies on patients with hypertrophic cardiography, the researchers found that 40% of them had OSA.

In addition, obstructive sleep apnea patients had a higher rate of atrial fibrillation and increased left atrial and aorta diameters in comparison to patients without OSA.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is also common in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea. The presenting manifestation of DCM can include atrial or ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden death can occur at any stage of the disease.

I don't want to scare you, but as you can see, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is associated with severe OSA, arrhythmias and cardiovascular death.

Here is an interesting study related to sleep apnea and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. You should also show this study to your doctor.

Another good read about OSA and HCM here. (you need to register first, to see the article)

Good luck, Jeff! And keep us posted!

Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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