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CPAP Improves Lung Function in Patients With Sleep Apnea and COPD

Original Article By: Pearl Steinzor

Summarized By: Neurobit

A study published by Athanasios Voulgaris and colleagues (2023) in The Clinical Respiratory Journal showed that patients with good compliance to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had a lower number of exacerbations of COPD. Additionally, the results pointed to improved lung function and COPD-related symptoms compared to those with poor compliance.

The study followed 59 patients diagnosed with Overlap Syndrome (OS) who underwent CPAP treatment for 12 months. The participants were divided into two groups, with group A instructed to use a CPAP machine for 4 or more hours each night and group B instructed to use it for less than 4 hours each night.

At the end of 12 months, group A showed improvements in pulmonary function and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) scores and a decrease in COPD exacerbations. On the other hand, group B did not show any changes in COPD exacerbations. The results suggest that CPAP compliance is important in reducing the number of exacerbations and improving COPD outcomes in OS patients. However, the study had some limitations, including a small sample size and an overrepresentation of males, and calls for further research in the field of OS.


Steinzor, P. (2023, February 1). CPAP Improves Lung Function in Patients With Sleep Apnea and COPD. American Journal of Managed Care. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from

Voulgaris, A., Archontogeorgis, K., Anevlavis, S., et al. (2023). Effect of compliance to continuous positive airway pressure on exacerbations, lung function and symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea (overlap syndrome). The Clinical Respiratory Journal.

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