Sleep apnoea is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Sleep apnoea is common after stroke and associated with increased blood pressure variability as described by Turkington and co-workers in this issue of Clinical Science. Both sleep apnoea and blood pressure variability confer a poor prognosis after stroke and are potentially treatable. Many studies of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) demonstrate decreases in cardiovascular risk markers in other patient groups. Although difficult to apply in these patients in the short term, CPAP has some potential benefits in medium-term rehabilitation and secondary prevention following stroke, which warrants further study.

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