This study has been quoted recently in the news.
I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. I looked at the study. It basically said that serious(fatal) cardiovascular events did not appear to be lessened in moderate to severe OSA patients over a 3.7 year period in patients on CPAP vs. controls. Personally, I do not find this study convincing. For one thing, a 3.7 year period is pretty short for this type of thing. Most cohort studies go 15 years or more. Secondly, we know for a fact that people with untreated moderate to severe OSA have a significantly higher death rate than normal over time and that both CPAP and oral appliances bring the death rate down close to normal(in very long-term studies). Cardiovascular problems are a big component of the death rate and thus both CPAP and OAs must have a salutory effect, in my view. a.b.luisi, d.m.d.
I guess your opinion should be shared with the authors and the NEJM. I only checked it out because I read about it in the news. I do plan to bring it up with my sleep doctor the next time I see him.
Actually, scientific studies are very difficult to evaluate, even for people with a medical background and experience in the area being covered. In order to do it, you have to dig down very deep in the study to see what assumptions were made, how the patient sample was selected, and how the statistics were applied. Also, you have try to figure out if the conclusions drawn are supported by what was done. The NEJM is a prestigious publication and I would assume that they peer-review their published studies. Never-the-less, I have to call it as I see it. a.b.luisi,d.m.d.