Poor sleep quality and hard-to-control blood pressure are common in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients who have received a Kidney Transplant and can lead to severe complications or eventually cause transplant failure. Studies have shown that 49.1% of Kidney Transplant recipients had difficulty staying asleep while hypertension (high blood pressure) was found to develop in 60% to 80% of CKD patients after Kidney Transplantation. WebMD reported on Tuesday December 10th, 2013 that new research reveals people with "sleep apnea and hard-to-control high blood pressure" can treat both conditions with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. This may be great news for those with CKD, especially individuals who are seeking to protect their Kidney Transplant from failure.
The study's lead author, Dr. Miguel-Angel Martinez-Garcia (the Polytechnic University Hospital in Valencia), said, "The prevalence of sleep apnea in patients with resistant [high blood pressure] is very high." Participants who used the CPAP device for 12 weeks reduced their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number, measures the pressure in the arteries between beats) and improved their overall nighttime blood pressure, the researchers found.
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Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on December 11th, 2013, the study found that people receiving CPAP lowered their average blood pressure 3.1 mm Hg more than those not receiving CPAP. What's more is that those who were treated with CPAP had a 3.2 mm Hg greater reduction in 24-hour average diastolic blood pressure.
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You may ask yourself, "Why do these complications seem so closely connected?" The simple answer is, "Because they are." Pauses in breathing caused by sleep apnea can disrupt CKD patients and prevent their nocturnal blood pressure from dropping regularly. The CPAP system consists of a motor that pushes air through a tube connected to a mask that fits over a CKD patient's mouth and nose which keeps the airway from closing; allowing continuous sleep and lets blood pressure drop normally.
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The cost of CPAP machines vary from a few hundred dollars to $1,000, according to Dr. Lee-Chiong, professor at National Jewish Health at the University of Colorado Denver. He further notes that CPAP devices are covered by most insurance, including Medicare. Hence, KidneyBuzz.com encourages all members of the CKD Community who are struggling with sleep apnea and/or hard-to-control hypertension to talk to their Nephrologists about the use of a CPAP device, especially those who have received a Kidney Transplant.
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