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The incidence and severity of pulmonary hypertension in obstructive sleep apnea with hypothyroidism

Omer Araz, Elif Yilmazel Ucar, Aslihan Yalcin, Didem Pulur, Hamit Acemoglu, Hakan Tas, Leyla Saglam, Metin Akgun, Arzu Mirici

(Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Ataturk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey)

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:883-887

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889619


Background: Hypothyroidism and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are both common health problems and can be seen together. Each of these 2 diseases can cause pulmonary hypertension (PH). We aimed to determine whether hypothyroidism with OSA has a significant effect on the frequency and severity of PH.
Material and Methods: A total of 236 patients were included in the study. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group I, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (n=149); Group II, Hypothyroidism (n=56); and Group III, Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypothyroidism (n=31). All patients underwent polysomnography and echocardiography and serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine 4 (FT4) were analyzed.
Results: There were 167 male and 69 female participants, and the mean age was 47.8±11.5 (Group I: 81.9% male, 18.1% female; Group II: 44.6% male, 55.4% female; Group III: 64.6% male, 35.4% female). Distribution of mean pulmonary arterial pressure on echocardiography was statistically different among the 3 groups (x2=14.99, p=0.006). When adjusted according to the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), age, and body mass index (BMI), a significant relation with PH was determined (p=0.002).
Conclusions: The combination of hypothyroidism with OSA is associated with an increased frequency and severity of PH. When PH is found out of line with the severity of OSA, thyroid dysfunction should be investigated.

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