Obstructive sleep apnea and aldosterone

Anna Svatikova, Lyle J. Olson, Robert Wolk, Bradley G. Phillips, Taro Adachi, Gary L. Schwartz, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a major risk factor for hypertension and has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity. A dysregulated renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system may contribute to excess sodium retention and hypertension and may be activated in OSA. We tested the hypothesis that serum levels of aldosterone and plasma renin activity (PRA) are increased by apneic sleep in subjects without cardiovascular disease, compared to healthy control subjects. Methods and results: Plasma aldosterone level was measured in 21 subjects with moderate to severe OSA and was compared to 19 closely matched healthy subjects. Plasma renin activity (PRA) was measured in 19 OSA patients and in 20 healthy controls. Aldosterone and PRA were measured before sleep (9pm), after 5 hrs of untreated OSA (2am) and in the morning after awakening (6am). There were no baseline (9pm) differences in serum aldosterone levels and PRA between the healthy controls and OSA patients (aldosterone: 55.2 ± 9 vs 56.0 ± 9 pg/mL; PRA: 0.99 ± 0.15 vs 1.15 ± 0.15 ng/mL/hr). Neither several hours of untreated severe OSA nor CPAP treatment affected aldosterone levels and PRA in OSA patients. Diurnal variation of both aldosterone and PRA was observed in both groups, in that morning renin and aldosterone levels were higher than those measured at night before sleep. Conclusions: Our study shows that patients with moderate to severe OSA without co-existing cardiovascular disease have plasma aldosterone and renin levels similar to healthy subjects. Neither untreated OSA nor CPAP treatment acutely affect plasma aldosterone or renin levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1589-1592
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Aldosterone
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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