Minneapolis is the Sleep Capital of the United States


With much of the sleep world convening in Minnesota for the past few days, and into next week, many sleep specialists are likely reading the latest news on a laptop or smart phone.


website for the AADSM show http://www.aadsm.org/annualmeeting.aspx

website for the AASM show http://www.sleepmeeting.org

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine will finish its 23rd Annual Meeting in just two days, and by most accounts, organizers succeeded in helping attendees gain clinical insight about the latest developments in oral appliance therapy.


The 2014 meeting included educational courses for all experience levels for both clinicians and staff. The meeting also had an exhibit hall for dentists to gather information about the latest products and services and opportunities for networking.


Of course, SLEEP 2014, the 28th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) continues today in Minneapolis, running through to Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Attendees at the meeting will be able to choose from more than 90 clinical and scientific sessions, plus dozens of ticketed courses and events.


Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy editors Alan Hickey and Maura Konwar will be attending SLEEP, and can be reached at alan@sleepdt.com and maura@apolismedical.com

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Wikipedia is No Substitute for Doctors


The “Mail online” recently trumpeted what physicians have been lamenting since the beginning of the Internet age: the web is not necessarily reliable for medical information. Call it a validation of sorts, courtesy of Dr. Robert Hasty of Campbell University in North Carolina colleagues.


The team concluded that many entries in Wikipedia, especially medical entries, contain false information. The message? Don’t use Wikipedia in place of your doctor.


The team published its study titled “Wikipedia vs Peer-Reviewed Medical Literature for Information About the 10 Most Costly Medical Conditions” in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, calling the information published in 20,000-plus medical related Wikipedia entries into question.

Click Here to read study

According to the report, researchers identified the “10 costliest conditions in terms of public and private expenditure”—which included diabetes, back pain, lung cancer and major depressive disorder—and compared the content of Wikipedia articles about those conditions to peer-reviewed medical literature. Two randomly assigned investigators found that 90% of the articles contained false information, which could affect the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.


Also from the Post, “Pew research suggests that 72 percent of Internet users have looked up health information online in the last year. False information on Wikipedia accounts — like a edited information about the side effects of a medication or false information about the benefits of one course of treatment over another — could encourage some patients to push their doctors toward prescribing a certain drug or treatment.”


Source: Mail Online

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Melatonin as a Bone Builder?


The hormone melatonin is well known for its role in regulating circadian rhythms, but a new study suggests it may also lead to greater bone density. So far, the bone building effects have only been demonstrated in elderly rats, but researchers are already looking to a possible osteoporosis prevention role in humans.


According to a study “Melatonin dietary supplement as an anti-aging therapy for age-related bone loss” led by Faleh Tamimi, a professor at McGill’s School of Dentistry in Montreal, found that supplemental doses of the naturally occurring hormone increased bone strength in elderly rats. “As we age, we sleep less well, which means that the osteoclasts are more active,” says Tamimi. “This tends to speed up the process of bone breakdown.”


In the study, twenty 22-month-old male rats were reportedly accommodated at the University of Madrid and given melatonin supplements diluted in their drinking water. After 10 weeks, or approximately six human years, bone density and bone strength tests revealed increased volume and density in the test group and little difference in the control group.


Despite positive results, Tamimi says more testing is necessary to determine whether supplemental doses of the sleep hormone are preventing bone breakdown or reversing it. “Until there is more research as well as clinical trials to determine how exactly the melatonin is working, we can’t recommend that people with osteoporosis go ahead and simply take melatonin supplements,” says Tamimi.


Click Here for Abstract

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Sleeping Pill Use Tied to Poorer Survival for Heart Failure Patients


Study also found heightened odds for heart trouble in patients taking benzodiazepine sleep aids

Existing Heart Problems Worsened by Sleeping Pills?

A new study from the European Society of Cardiology suggests that heart failure patients who use sleeping pills may be heightening their cardiac concerns, or worse yet, even causing death.


“Sleeping problems are a frequent side effect of heart failure and it is common for patients to be prescribed sleeping pills when they are discharged from hospital,” study author Dr. Masahiko Setoguchi explained in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology. “Given that many heart failure patients have difficulty sleeping, this is an issue that needs further investigation in larger studies.”


According to a summary, a Japanese team examined the medical records of 111 heart failure patients admitted to a Tokyo hospital from 2011 to 2013. The patients were followed for up to 180 days after they left the hospital. “Patients who took sleeping pills — drugs called benzodiazepine hypnotics — were eight times more likely to be readmitted to hospital for heart failure or to die from heart-related causes than those who did not take sleeping pills, the researchers found”.


Heart failure patients “who use sleeping pills, particularly those who have sleep-disordered breathing, should be carefully monitored,” Setoguchi concluded.

“The results from this small, single-center study raise a potential alarm about the use of benzodiazepines in a heart failure population,” added Dr. Sean Pinney, director of the advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant program at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


For full press release click here

Source: European Society of Cardiology

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Home Sleep Testing Gets Boost from Latest Study


Sleep news continues to pour forth from this week’s American Thoracic Society International Conference, with the latest research declaring that home testing of sleep apnea followed by initiation of home treatment with an auto-titrating CPAP device reduced costs compared with in-laboratory testing and titration. Furthermore, home testing did not negatively impact clinical outcomes.


“While the use of home testing and initiation of CPAP therapy is increasingly common, studies of its cost-effectiveness are scarce,” said lead author Charles W. Atwood, Jr., MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Program of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in a NewsWise summary. “In our randomized study, sleep-related costs were substantially lower for patients who underwent home testing and treatment initiation than for those who underwent laboratory testing, and this cost saving was accomplished without sacrificing clinical quality.”


According to a news report, the study enrolled 296 subjects, 113 of whom began CPAP at home and 110 of whom began in a laboratory. Assessment with the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire, a disease-specific quality of life questionnaire designed to assess the impact of sleep disorders on activities of everyday living and the extent to which these abilities are improved by treatment, showed no significant difference in outcomes between groups.


Publication summary:

Cost-Effectiveness Of Home Management Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Veterans Sleep Apnea Treatment Trial, [Publication Page: A3672]C.W. Atwood, MD1, S.T. Kuna, MD2, K.C. Little, MS1, S. Hin, MS2, R. Gupta, MS2, I. Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH2, H. Glick, PhD2
1Pittsburgh, PA/US, 2Philadelphia, PA/US

Click Here to access ATS abstracts and presentations

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Umbian Boasts Compliance Gains with U-Sleep Management Solution


Umbian Inc, a ResMed company and provider of cloud-based healthcare compliance solutions, released study results this week that show measurable efficiency gains when using the automated messaging capabilities of its U-Sleep compliance management solution.


The study, funded by ResMed, revealed a 59% reduction in labor associated with intervening with and coaching patients on CPAP therapy when using U-Sleep. The study was presented this week at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2014 International Conference in San Diego by lead investigator Dominic Munafo, MD, DABSM, medical director, Sleep Data Inc, and was supported by Umbian and ResMed.


“This is an opportunity for home medical equipment (HME) providers to redesign the way they interact with patients to improve efficiency, and therefore their bottom line,” said Raj Sodhi, president of Umbian. “Every HME is under pressure to minimize the costs associated with gaining compliance, and these findings show that U-Sleep’s automated messaging can help significantly.”


The goal of the study was to compare the effectiveness and coaching labor requirements of a web-based, automated messaging (via U-Sleep) with standard-of-care CPAP adherence coaching, and measure the coaching labor necessary to achieve Medicare-defined adherence. A secure and flexible compliance solution, U-Sleep monitors CPAP device usage and helps HMEs coach and manage their patients during therapy.


To evaluate the effect of automated messaging on coaching labor and patient adherence, researchers conducted a multi-center, prospective trial of patients newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. A total of 122 patients completed the three-month study follow-up, with 58 in the U-Sleep arm and 64 in the standard-of-care arm. All patients were set up on a CPAP device with heated humidification and a ResMed wireless modem, and both groups received identical CPAP education and orientation.


The U-Sleep arm received an automated series of text messages and/or emails triggered by one of five situations that indicated non-compliance, such as No CPAP data for two consecutive days or CPAP usage of less than four hours for three consecutive nights. In contrast, the standard-of-care arm received scheduled telephone calls on days one, seven, 14, and 30.


Reducing Labor while Increasing Compliance

The results of the study reveal a significant reduction in the mean number of minutes of adherence coaching required per patient for the U-Sleep arm, equating to a 59 percent reduction in labor. In addition, there was an observed difference of +10 percent in Medicare-defined adherence for the U-Sleep group (83 vs. 73 percent). Medicare-defined adherence is the documented use of CPAP therapy for at least four hours per night for 70 percent or more nights during a consecutive 30-day period within the first 90 days of therapy.


As the number of people using CPAP therapy to treat sleep apnea increases, the ability to efficiently and effectively monitor and manage CPAP therapy becomes a critical aspect of healthcare.

“Scaling to meet the growing sleep apnea patient base requires new ways of thinking for HMEs,” said Sodhi. “Using automated messaging technology to keep patients on track with therapy has the potential to increase an HME’s patient base capacity, and improve a growing number of lives.”


Source: ResMed

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Sleep Apnea Affects Brain Neurons?


New research reveals that activity among neurons that keeps heart rate low is reduced among the people with sleep apnea.

The study titled “Chronic intermittent hypoxia‐hypercapnia blunts heart rate responses and alters neurotransmission to cardiac vagal neurons” was published in the Journal of Physiology

A summary reported that researchers at the George Washington University state that in sleep apnea, neurons in the brainstem that controls heart rate experience a reduced activity. This diminished neuronal activity then activates increased heart rate, blood pressure and also the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in OSA patients.


Lack of oxygen during these incidents puts the sufferers in lighter state of sleep or brief wakefulness for restoration of normal breathing. Cycles of interrupted breathing and arousal from sleep can occur as frequently as once per minute.


“Lack of sleep leaves the mind and body tired, leading to poor mental and physical performance, and if untreated OSA increases a person’s risk of developing hypertension and irregular heartbeats,” said lead study author Dr David Mendelowitz. “Therefore it is very important that we have discovered some of the underlying mechanisms that could injure the heart and other cardiovascular tissues.”


The team explored these mechanisms in rats, by mimicking OSA for four weeks and studying the changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and synaptic activity in parasympathetic neurons that control heart rate.

Future work will need to build from this foundation and focus on finding targets to restore the usual cardio-protective function of these neurons to help reduce the risk of arrhythmias, elevated heart rate, and blood pressure that occur with this disease.

Click here to Read Abstract

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Top Universities Criticize Society for Neglecting Sleep


A recent report in news health documents sentiments from top university researchers who criticize “people and governments” for being “supremely arrogant” in ignoring the importance of sleep. The researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities told BBC’s Day of the Body Clock that lack of sleep was leading to “serious health problems.”


The scientists listed cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections, and obesity as all being linked to reduced sleep. Prof Russell Foster, at the University of Oxford, said in the article that people were getting between one and two hours less sleep a night than 60 years ago. He said: “We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. What we do as a species, perhaps uniquely, is override the clock. And long-term acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems.”


Reporter James Gallagher points out that emerging evidence suggests modern technology is now keeping us up later into the night and cutting sleep. “Light is the most powerful synchroniser of your internal biological clock,” said Prof Charles Czeisler, from Harvard University, in BBC’s Day of the Body Clock.


He said energy efficient light bulbs as well as smart phones, tablets and computers had high levels of light in the blue end of the spectrum which is “right in the sweet spot” for disrupting the body clock.


Source: BBC Health

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AASM Launches Sleep Well, Be Well Campaign Makes Healthy Sleep a Priority


A nationwide “Sleep Well, Be Well” campaign is being launched this week as part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a collaboration between the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS).


The campaign will promote widespread awareness of the dangers of chronic sleep loss and untreated sleep illness, encouraging Americans to achieve healthy sleep for improved overall health.


“The urgency of our message cannot be overstated: Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury, and the pursuit of healthy sleep should be one of our top priorities,” said Dr. Safwan Badr, president of the AASM and a national spokesperson for the Healthy Sleep project. “Sufficient sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle – as important as good nutrition and regular exercise. There’s no avoiding it or catching up: You must sleep well to be well.”


CDC data indicate that 28 percent of U.S. adults report sleeping six hours or less in a 24-hour period. Poor sleep health increases the risk of physical and mental health problems, mortality, accidents, injuries and disability.

“Poor sleep has a cumulative impact on nearly every key indicator of public health, including obesity, hypertension and diabetes,” said Janet B. Croft, PhD, senior chronic disease epidemiologist, in CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Healthy sleep is a vital sign of good health.”


The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project was initiated in 2013 through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The ongoing project involves a partnership between the AASM, CDC, Sleep Research Society and other collaborators to promote the importance of healthy sleep.


Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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Telemedicine as Effective as Face to Face for CPAP Compliance?


In the United States and around the world, CPAP compliance is an ongoing problem. Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona (Unit of Biophysics and Bioengineering), Spain, wanted to know if a telemedicine approach could work as well, or even better, than a face-to-face approach.


“We believe that OSA patients could benefit greatly from a telemedicine approach for CPAP therapy management,” wrote researchers in the new study “Telemedicine-based approach for obstructive sleep apnea management: building evidence”. “The objective of our study was to evaluate the application of a telemedicine-based approach in CPAP therapy management, focusing on patients’ CPAP follow-up and training.”


Ultimately, more than 95% (49/50) of the interviewed patients were satisfied with teleconsultation, and 66% (33/50) answered that teleconsultation could replace 50% to 100% of their CPAP follow-up visits.


“OSA patients gave a positive feedback about the use of teleconsultation for CPAP follow-up, and the CPAP training based on a telemedicine approach proved to be as effective as face-to-face training,” concluded researchers. “These results support the use of this telemedicine-based approach as a valuable strategy for patients’ CPAP training and clinical follow-up.”


Click Here to Read Full Study

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