Continuous positive airway pressure treatment and anxiety in adults with coronary artery disease and nonsleepy obstructive sleep apnea in the RICCADSA trial

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Background: Anxiety and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) coexist among adults with coronary artery disease (CAD) following revascularization. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first line treatment of OSA patients with daytime sleepiness. The current study evaluated the effect of CPAP on anxiety in CAD patients with nonsleepy OSA. Methods: Two hundred forty-four revascularized CAD patients with nonsleepy OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥15/h, Epworth Sleepiness Scale score <10) were randomly assigned to CPAP or no-CPAP between 2005 and 2010. Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) was administered at baseline and after 3 and 12 months with higher scores suggesting more anxiety. Results: A total of 208 patients with complete SAS scores at baseline and 12-month follow-up were included (CPAP, n = 103; no-CPAP, n = 105). In the intention-to-treat analysis, CPAP had no significant effect on the SAS scores. On-treatment analysis revealed a significant increase in the median of delta SAS score (+3.75) after three months among the participants using the device 2.8 h/day or more while there was a decline in the median of delta SAS score (−1.25) in the non-adherent or no-CPAP group (p = 0.031). The increase in the SAS score (+1.25) in the adherent group, and the decline (−1.25 points) in the non-adherent/no-CPAP group remained significant after one year (p = 0.011). Baseline SAS score predicted non-adherence [adjusted odds ratio 1.11; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.18; p = 0.003], and there was an association between the increase in the SAS scores and accumulated CPAP hours/day [standardized β = 0.144 (95% CI 0.005–0.695), p = 0.047]. Conclusion: Our results suggest that anxiety should be considered in the management of CAD patients with nonsleepy OSA following revascularization. Clinical trial registration: NCT00519597.


  • Yeliz Celik
  • Erik Thunström
  • Patrick J. Strollo
  • Yüksel Peker
External organisations
  • Koc University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • Anxiety, Coronary artery disease, CPAP, Obstructive sleep apnea
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch