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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 8215082, 10 pages
Review Article

Roles and Mechanisms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome and Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia in Atherosclerosis: Evidence and Prospective

1Cardiovascular Diseases Centre, Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100091, China
2China Heart Institute of Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100091, China

Received 10 February 2016; Revised 1 April 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Gopi Kolluru

Copyright © 2016 Linqin Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The morbidity and mortality of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) are regarded as consequences of its adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) induced by OSAHS can result in vascular endothelial injury, thus promoting development of atherosclerosis (AS). Studies have shown that CIH is an independent risk factor for the occurrence and development of AS, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we review clinical and fundamental studies reported during the last 10 years on the occurrence and development of AS mediated by CIH, focusing on inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, cell apoptosis, vascular endothelial injury, platelet activation, and neuroendocrine disorders. This review will offer current evidence and perspective to researchers for the development of effective intervention strategies for OSAHS-related cardiocerebrovascular diseases.