Although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common condition that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), there is much uncertainty over the effectiveness of treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the prevention of CVD. Only a large-scale clinical trial could resolve this uncertainty and if positive, radically change clinical practice so that screening for OSA is part of the routine CVD risk assessment.
SAVE is a multi-centre, open label, parallel, prospective, randomised, controlled trial of CPAP treatment plus standard care versus standard care alone, in 2500 high CVD risk subjects with moderate-severe OSA. The trial will determine the effects of CPAP treatment over a 2-7 year follow-up period on new cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death. The study was conducted in China, Australia, New Zealand, India, USA, Spain and Brazil.
If the results of the SAVE study prove positive it will be a major advance for the sleep apnea field and will place OSA in the mainstream of cardiovascular medicine.