The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Using compression stockings to treat sleep apnea

    Fluid accumulation in the legs and its redistribution into the neck appears to play a role in obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep).

    Researchers at Hopitaux de Paris, Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, in Paris, France, studied the response to wearing compression stockings during the day.

    First, the details.

    • 12 non-obese people with chronic venous insufficiency and obstructive sleep apnea were randomly assigned to each treatment for one-week in random order.
      • Wearing compression stockings
      • Control period without compression stockings
    • Polysomnography and measurement of overnight changes in leg fluid volume and neck circumference were performed.
      • Polysomnography is used to measure physiological processes during sleep.

    And, the results.

    • Wearing compression stockings resulted a significant 62% reduction in the overnight leg fluid volume change and a significant 60% reduction in the overnight neck circumference increase.
    • This was accompanied by a significant 36% reduction apnea (suspension of breathing) and hypopnea (shallow breathing or abnormally low respiratory rate) per hour of sleep.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Redistribution of fluid from the legs into the neck at night contributes to the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea in subjects with chronic venous insufficiency. Prevention of fluid accumulation in the legs during the day, and its nocturnal displacement into the neck at night, attenuates obstructive sleep apnea in such subjects.”

    8/14/11 21:28 JR

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