Sleep apnea and heart failure

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a syndrome that affects around 10% of people aged over 65.*

Up to 50% of heart failure patients experience moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing (SDB),1 with either Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR), Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or a combination of all those.2


What is Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR)?


CSR occurs when periods of hyperventilation and hypoventilation (in a waxing/waning breathing pattern) alternate with periods of central hypopnoea/apnea.

CSR is a common form of SDB in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction.3


How does CSR have this affect?


It’s expected that SDB in general and CSR accelerates the progression of heart failure by causing:

  • Repetitive hypoxia
  • Increased afterload
  • Increased sympathetic activity4
  • Oscillations in heart rate and blood pressure

Fragmented sleep resulting from CSR also causes fatigue and daytime sleepiness, which impacts quality of life.

Learn more about the treatment options for patients with CSR.


What are the consequences of SDB?


A large study on MediCare newly diagnosed HF patients has shown that those with SDB have a worse prognosis compared to those without.5

Nocturnal CSA/CSR in itself is associated with increased mortality6 in CHF patients.

More Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

SDB and hypertension
If your patient has sleep disordered breathing (SDB), their risk of becoming hypertensive increases. Find out how treating your patients’ breathing condition can improve their overall health.
SDB and stroke
If your patient has had a stroke, they might also have developed sleep disordered breathing (SDB)—which might be undiagnosed. Find out how treating your patients’ breathing condition can improve their overall health.


  1. Bitter T. et al, EJHF, 2009
  2. Oldenburg O et al. Circ J 2012
  3. Lanfranchi PA et al. Circulation. 2003