Central sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke in the elderly

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 04/27/2012

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is the specific respiratory event associated with stroke in the elderly. Additionally, CSA could be a marker of silent brain ischemia, as a sign of disturbed regulation of central respiratory mechanisms, tentatively of ischemic origin.


  • Fully overnight polysomnography was performed at baseline.
  • Over the 6 year follow-up period, 20 ischemic strokes occurred.
  • Differences in stroke-free survival between subjects according to central apnea index (CAI) were assessed.


  • The authors just observed association with incident ischemic stroke on central sleep apnea (CSA) episodes.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea, time passed under 90% oxygen saturation, or arousal index were not associated.
  • The event-free survival was lowest in the highest CAI group.
  • This association was independent of any other vascular risk factors.

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