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Association between obstructive sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation and delirium after cardiac surgery. Sub-analysis of DECADE trial

September 6, 2023

Background:
Atrial fibrillation and delirium are common complications after cardiac surgery. Both are associated with increased Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay, functional decline, 30-day mortality and increase in health care costs. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) induces deleterious effects in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. We hypothesized that adult patients with preoperative OSA have a higher incidence of post- operative atrial fibrillation and delirium than patients without OSA, after cardiac surgery.
Methods:
Sub-analysis of the DECADE trial at Cleveland Clinic hospitals. Our exposure was OSA, defined by STOP-BANG questionnaire score higher than 5 and/or a preoperative diagnosis of OSA. The primary outcome was atrial fibrillation, defined by clinician diagnosis or documented arrhythmia. The secondary outcome was delirium assessed twice during the initial five postoperative days using the Confusion Assessment Method for ICU. We assessed the association between OSA, and atrial fibrillation and delirium using a logistic regression model adjusted for confounders using inverse probability of treatment weighting.
Results:
590 patients were included in the final analysis. 133 were diagnosed with OSA and 457 had no OSA. Satisfactory balance between groups for most confounders (absolute standardized difference < 0.10) was ach- ieved after weighting. The atrial fibrillation incidence was 37% (n = 49) in the patients with OSA and 33% (n = 150) in the non-OSA patients. OSA was not associated with atrial fibrillation with an estimated odds ratio of 1.22 (95% CI: 0.75,1.99;p = 0.416). The delirium incidence was 17% (n = 22) in patients with OSA and 15% (n = 67) in the non-OSA patients. OSA was not associated with delirium with an estimated odds ratio of 0.93 (95% CI: 0.51,1.69;p = 0.800). Conclusion:
In adult patients having cardiac surgery, OSA is not associated with a higher incidence of post- operative atrial fibrillation and delirium. These results suggest different prominent factors rather than OSA affect the incidence of these postoperative outcomes.