Dr. Owen Lyons is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Respirologist and Sleep Physician at Women’s College Hospital and the University Health Network. He obtained his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons (National University of Ireland) and went on to complete his internal medicine and respirology training in Ireland. Subsequently, he completed sub-specialty clinical training in weaning, home mechanical ventilation and sleep medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London, before taking up a staff position there. He was the inaugural recipient of the Peter Macklem Joint Fellowship award from the Canadian Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society in 2012, which facilitated his move to Toronto where he completed a 3 year clinical research fellowship in sleep medicine at UHN.
Dr. Lyons' research interest is in Sleep Apnea and its interaction with other diseases. His main 2 areas of focus are Chronic Kidney Disease and Atrial Fibrillation. Supported by external peer-reviewed funding, his work in chronic kidney disease is focused on 1) pathophysiological mechanisms by which fluid overload leads to both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA) in this population, 2) the effect of conversion to home dialysis from conventional dialysis on sleep apnea severity and cardiovascular structure/function, and 3) predictors and prevalence of sleep apnea in patients on home hemodialysis. His other main area of interest is the relationship between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation (AF). Areas of research on this specific topic, supported by internal peer-reviewed funding, include a project that aims 1) to determine underlying pathophysiological mechanisms by which OSA contributes to the occurrence of AF and 2) to assess the effect of CPAP treatment of OSA on AF burden in patients with paroxysmal AF. He is also focused on improving access to sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment through clinical quality improvement initiatives and he is conducting a QI project to develop a new clinical pathway for the evaluation and diagnosis of sleep apnea in AF patients.
Dr. Lyons is also interested in diagnosis and management of sleep apnea in women. Despite becoming increasingly common in women, the condition is still traditionally considered a disease of middle-aged men. His research aims to better understand the underlying pathophysiology of sleep apnea, to develop novel and nuanced approaches to treatment – particularly for women. These new treatments will help improve patient’s quality of life and reduce their risk of heart disease, particularly in high-risk populations of women with heart disease, chronic kidney disease and post-menopause.