In the September 16th edition of the European Respiratory Journal, there was a study done to assess the benefits of early CPAP treatment on funtional outcome, quality of life, and rates of new cardiovascular events and mortality in patients who suffered their first stroke.
In this study, 325 patients were randomized to CPAP treatment or a control group that did not receive CPAP. 90.5% of the CPAP group had improvements in neurological assessments in one month, which was significantly greater than the 56.3% that showed improvement in the control group. Beyond one month though, results between the two groups did not differ significantly.
Cardiovascular mortality rates did not differ significantly between the two groups. However, the average time from the stroke to the first cardiovascular event was significantly longer in the CPAP group (15 months) than in controls (8 months). This implies that CPAP might help delay the onset of new cardiovascular events in a patient population already at high risk for cardiovascular disease.