Home' Southern Health News : Southern Health News April 2013 Contents The Sleep Apnoea and
(SAVE) Study, the largest trial
of its kind, has reached a
critical milestone recruiting
its 2,000th participant, with
only 500 more needed to
complete the study.
A world first study from
the Adelaide Institute for
Sleep Health (AISH) at the
Repatriation General Hospital
has shown that diagnosis and
care for people with sleep
apnoea is as e ective in a
primary health setting as it is
in a specialist sleep centre.
The findings could have major
benefits for reducing the cost
of sleep apnoea services and
improving access to specialists,
by providing general practitioners
(GPs) and practice nurses with
New awakenings for sleep apnoea treatment
the support needed to manage
sleep apnoea in the community.
"We believe the findings of the
study will lead, in time, to a
paradigm shift in the way health
services are delivered to patients
with sleep apnoea worldwide,
improving access to treatment for
sleep apnoea sufferers through the
increased engagement of general
practitioners and practice nurses in
their care," Clinical Director of AISH,
Associate Professor Nick Antic said.
The study involved 155 patients with
obstructive sleep apnoea who were
treated in primary health care or at a
specialist sleep centre.
There were significant improvements
in Epworth Sleepiness Scale
(ESS) scores in both patient
groups, proving that primary care
management is not inferior to
treatment in a specialist sleep centre.
Secondary outcomes included
improved quality of life measures,
obstructive sleep apnoea
symptoms, adherence to using
Continuous Positive Airway
Pressure, patient satisfaction and
reduced health care costs.
The study found that diagnostic and
treatment costs were approximately
40 per cent less expensive in primary
care than in specialist care.
"Approximately 30 per cent of
patients report sleep apnoea
symptoms to their GP and with
appropriate training and simplified
management tools, primary care
physicians and practice nurses
might be ideally positioned to take
on a greater role in diagnosis and
management," Prof Antic said.
The study was led by Ching
Li Chai-Coetzer from AISH in
partnership with South Australian
Fleurieu Kangaroo Island (SAFKI)
Medicare Local and Flinders
University. The study was published
in the March 2013 edition of
the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA).
Professor Doug McEvoy fits the CPAP machine
onto trial participant Keith Coots at the
Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health.
a life-saving question: Does treating
obstructive sleep apnoea with CPAP
in patients with cardiovascular
disease reduce the risk of
cardiovascular events such as heart
attack and stroke?
Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health
Director Professor Doug McEvoy
said the SAVE study had the potential
This Australian led study, which is
being undertaken at the Adelaide
Institute for Sleep Health, based at
the Repatriation General Hospital,
is the largest Continuous Positive
Airway Pressure (CPAP) trial ever
It is also the first randomised
controlled trial designed to answer
A step closer to answering a life-saving sleep question
to change the way cardiovascular
disease was treated in the future.
"Obstructive sleep apnoea is a
condition in which a person stops
breathing for several seconds at a
time, many times over, during sleep
due to relaxation of their throat
muscles," Prof McEvoy said.
About 10 per cent of middle-aged
men and four per cent of middle-
aged women have sleep apnoea,
causing them to wake up at least 15
times or more an hour.
"There is increasing evidence to
support a strong link between
obstructive sleep apnoea and
cardiovascular risk factors such as
high blood pressure, with some
studies reporting there is a two
to four times greater risk of heart
attack or stroke in people with
obstructive sleep apnoea."
People who are between 45 and 75
years of age and have a pre-existing
cardiovascular disease are invited to
participate in this study.
For more information about the
trial, call (08) 8275 2876 or visit
SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS / APRIL 2013 / 5
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