All I can say is the accuracy of the rest of the article was questionable. Among things that I caught and question the accuracy of:
1) A tone that made it sound as though surgery is the preferred way to treat OSA and that CPAP is considered a second rate treatment instead of the gold standard treatment.
2) A uniquely negative view of the potential problems with CPAP that borders on the comical:
Quote:Looking a little like scuba gear to be worn to bed, the machines can dry out the throat and sinuses and incubate upper respiratory infections as well as irritate the skin and scare away bed partners.
Scare away bed partners???? And incubate upper respiratory infections??? Most of the folks I know have fewer upper respiratory infections after starting PAP than they had when their OSA was still untreated.
3) Then there was this interesting juxtaposition of sentences:
Quote:In the USA, people with sleep apnea may spend tens of thousands of dollars on medical treatments that do not work.
Surgery and CPAP are not the only interventions for sleep apnea. Breathe-Right strips, tennis balls sewed into pillows, didgeridoo lessons, and vocalization exercises all have been tried as treatments for obstructive sleep apnea, with varying degrees of success.
The first sentence is true: Way too much money is spent by Americans trying to fix their OSA without using a CPAP. But look at that list of things that are listed as possible interventions, with the implication that they work in enough cases to be considered valid medical ways of treating OSA: The only one that's accepted is the tennis balls trick, and that's only considered appropriate if the OSA is almost 100% positional. And oddly enough, prescription oral appliances, which can
be effective is left off that list.
4) Then there's the description of the study itself:
Quote:Researchers at the chronic venous insufficiency clinic at the Clinique La Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, led by Dr. Stefania Redolfi of the University of Brescia in Italy, fitted a group of sleep apnea sufferers with compression stockings they wore for a week, followed by a one-night visit to the polysomography clinic to monitor sleep apnea. The test subjects then went a week without wearing the stockings and came back for a second monitoring session. A second group of test subjects were also tested in two sessions, wearing the stockings during the second week rather than the first.
The researchers found that stockings reduced nighttime swelling of leg veins by 62%, and also reduced nighttime swelling in the neck by 60%. The number of breathless episodes per night was reduced by 36%.
No mention of the severity of the test patients' OSA. No mention of whether these people were using a CPAP before the experiment. If they were, then discontinuing it right before wearing the stockings could skew the results in favor of the stockings. In the studies I've read that use patients who regularly use CPAPs, the patients are often, but not always asked to quit the CPAP for a few days to a week before the study begins, just to make sure the apnea has had a chance to deteriorate to the patient's normal untreated OSA before starting the treatment.
But the most glaring thing in my opinion is acting as though a 36% reduction in the number of apneas was enough to be considered an effective treatment. If you have an AHI of even as little as 23, a 36% reduction in AHI still leaves you with an AHI >= 15, the boarder of "moderate" sleep apnea, which routinely gets you an invite to join the hosehead club ...