Sleep-disordered breathing patterns in hospitalized patients with acute heart failure across the entire spectrum of ejection fraction

Sérgio Maltês, Gonçalo J.L. Cunha, Bruno M.L. Rocha, Renato Guerreiro, Joana Duarte, Rui Morais, Célia Henriques, Catarina Rodrigues, Inês Araújo, Cândida Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is prevalent in heart failure (HF). Yet, scarce data exist on sleep-patterns in acute HF and differences in specific subgroups. Our goal was to assess SDB prevalence in hospitalized patients with decompensated HF across the entire spectrum of left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF). Methods: Single-center retrospective study enrolling patients admitted for acute HF between 2013 and 2018. All patients were screened for SDB with an ApneaLink™ Plus device before discharge while euvolemic and receiving oral therapy. Those with a sleep study time < 3 h were excluded. HF with reduced, moderately reduced, and preserved LVEF (HFrEF, HFmrEF, and HFpEF) was defined by a LVEF < 40%, 40–49%, and ≥ 50%, respectively. SDB was defined by an apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 5/h. Results: Overall, 221 patients were included (mean age 75 ± 11 years). Seventy-two (33%) had HFrEF, 26 (11%) HFmrEF, and 123 (56%) HFpEF. In total, 176 (80%) met the criteria for mild SDB, while 59% and 38% had an AHI ≥ 15/h or ≥ 30/h, respectively. SDB prevalence was high and similar between HFrEF, HFmrEF, and HFpEF. Yet, SDB was often more severe in HFrEF when compared to HFpEF. HFmrEF had intermediate characteristics, with an AHI closer to HFrEF. Conclusion: In a cohort of patients admitted for acute HF, SDB was highly prevalent in all subgroups, including HFmrEF. The pervasiveness and severity of SDB was particularly noted in HFrEF. These findings suggest that routine SDB screening may be warranted following acute HF.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep and Breathing
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Heart failure
  • Left ventricle ejection fraction
  • Portable sleep monitor
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing


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