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Sleep apnoea and heart failure study recruits 1,000th participant

SERVE-HF, the largest study to investigate if treatment of predominant central sleep apnoea (CSA) improves survival and outcomes of patients with stable heart failure, has enrolled its 1,000th participant. The study, which began in 2008, has a target of approximately 1,250 participants.

Previous studies have demonstrated that such patients have a poor quality of life as well as increased mortality, but that they may do better and live longer if they are treated with assisted ventilation during sleep.  The SERVE-HF study hopes to provide conclusive evidence of the health benefits of treating sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in heart failure patients, and on a much larger scale.  The study is being conducted at more than 80 sites in Germany, France, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and the Czech Republic.

The primary goal of the study is to determine whether managing CSR–CSA with a proprietary adaptive servo-ventilation technology (AutoSet CS™ and VPAP™, ResMed) increases survival rates and decreases the burden of hospitalisations in this patient population.  Adaptive servo-ventilation is an intelligent method of non-invasive ventilation that continuously monitors and stabilises the breathing patterns of individuals with SDB throughout the night.

Principal investigator Professor Martin Cowie (Royal Brompton Hospital, London) said, “SERVE-HF is the world’s largest study for any aspect of SDB, and it has involved significant collaboration among sleep physicians, respiratory physicians and cardiologists across Europe”.

Co-principal investigator, Professor Helmut Teschler, Medical Director at the Department of Pneumology, Ruhrland Clinic, Essen, added, “This study is so important because SDB in heart failure patients is a very common occurrence, particularly in men.  Given that at least 50% of men with heart failure also suffer from moderate to severe SDB, treatment of SDB could be vital to improving heart failure outcomes in the future”.

“We’ve designed the study not only to assess survival rates but also to see if adaptive servo-ventilation improves quality of life, sleep, and physiologic changes associated with heart failure, such as enlarged hearts,” stated Professor Cowie.

“Tight collaboration between cardiologists and sleep physicians is needed if SDB care is to improve worldwide. The findings of the SERVE-HF study may ensure that this happens in the future,” Professor Teschler commented.

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Published on: June 25, 2012

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