Cardiovascular disease can be detected earlier during sleep

April 4, 2011, University of Gothenburg

A specially customised pulse oximeter attached to the finger can be used to detect changes in heart and vessel function while you sleep, and this simple technique can even identify patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

A pilot study of 148 people showed that more than 80% of high-risk patients were picked up by this simple and risk-free measurement technique. The results were published recently in the journal Chest.

In the study, researchers used a modified version of the pulse oximeter currently used to detect various during the night, such as apnoea. The method is based on the measurement of five components of the signal from the finger: pulse wave attenuation, pulse rate acceleration, pulse propagation time, respiration-related pulse oscillation and oxygen desaturation.

"We then weigh up these components in a model to assess how great a risk the patient runs of cardiovascular disease," says Ludger Grote, associate professor at the Center for and Vigilance Disorders at the Sahlgrenska Academy and senior consultant at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. "We believe that the patient's values reflect the risk at least as well as the individual's risk factors 'on paper'."

The method may result in quicker and easier identification of patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. It is hoped that it can also be used to assess the effects of treatment for , such as how weight loss and exercise can help prevent problems.

The research results are the result of teamwork between docent Ludger Grote, professor Jan Hedner, researcher Zou Ding and researcher Derek Eder from the Sahlgrenska Academy and computer engineer Dirk Sommermeyer from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, a visiting researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The team is now developing prototypes for a future portable device that can be used clinically. Before it can be taken into use, larger research studies are needed to confirm the results. Grote says that the team has already begun this process.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Onions could hold key to fighting antibiotic resistance

January 22, 2018
A type of onion could help the fight against antibiotic resistance in cases of tuberculosis, a UCL and Birkbeck-led study suggests.

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.