Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients with Implanted Cardiac Devices at High Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Akram Khan, Ryan D. Clay, Asha Singh, Chitra Lal, Larisa G. Tereshchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Patients with pre‐existing cardiac disease have a higher prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA has been associated with an increased risk of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmia. We screened subjects with implanted pacemakers and automated implantable cardioverter defibrillators (AICD) for OSA with the Berlin Questionnaire and compared the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias and automated implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) firing between high and low OSA risk groups. Materials and Methods: We contacted 648 consecutive patients from our arrhythmia clinic to participate in the study and performed final analyses on 171 subjects who consented and had follow‐up data. Data were abstracted from the electronic health record for the incidence of non‐sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT), ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF) and AICD firing and then compared between those at high versus low risk of OSA using the Berlin Questionnaire and multivariate negative binomial regression. Results: The average follow‐up period was 24.2 ± 4.4 months. After adjusting for age, gender and history of heart failure, those subjects at high risk of OSA had a higher burden of NSVT vs. those with a low risk of OSA (33.4 ± 96.2 vs. 5.82 ± 17.1 episodes, p = 0.003). A predetermined subgroup analysis of AICD recipients also demonstrated a significantly higher burden of NSVT in the high vs. low OSA risk groups (66.2 ± 128.6 vs. 18.9 ± 36.7 episodes, p = 0.033). There were significant differences in the rates of VT, VF or AICD shock burden between the high and low OSA risk groups and in the AICD subgroup analysis. Conclusions: There was increased ventricular ectopy among pacemaker and AICD recipients at high risk of OSA, but the prevalence of VT, VF or AICD shocks was similar to those with low risk of OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number757
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • arrhythmias
  • cardiac
  • epidemiology
  • sleep apnea syndromes
  • surveys questionnaires and

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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