Sleep Breathing Disorders in the U.S. Female Population

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Journal of Women's Health (Impact Factor: 2.05). 08/2009; 18(8):1211-9. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1054
Source: PubMed


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common disorder that remains underdiagnosed in adult females. The Berlin Questionnaire is a validated tool for identifying people at risk for OSAS. The aim of this report was to evaluate the prevalence of common symptoms of OSAS in women and to estimate the risk for OSAS among females in the United States.
This is an analysis of data from the 2007 Sleep in America Poll of the National Sleep Foundation. The NSF Poll is an annual telephone survey of a representative sample of U.S. adults. The 2007 NSF Poll included 1254 women in the United States, with an oversample of pregnant and postpartum women. We used the Berlin Questionnaire to estimate the risk for OSAS among the U.S. female population. This instrument includes questions about self-reported snoring, witnessed apneas, daytime sleepiness, hypertension, and obesity. Also included were questions about sleep habits, sleep problems, menstrual cycle status, and other medical disorders.
Twenty-five percent of the female population was found to be at high risk for OSAS. Among women at high risk, such common symptoms of OSAS as habitual snoring (61%), observed apneas (7%), and daytime sleepiness (24%) were highly prevalent. Sleep onset insomnia (32%) or maintenance insomnia symptoms (19%) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms (33%) or body movements (60%) also were frequently reported. The risk increased with age (p < 0.05), obesity (p < 0.001), and menopause (p < 0.001). The presence of chronic medical disorders was more frequently reported among women at high risk.
One in four women in America is at high risk of having OSAS. Awareness by the primary care medical community of this disorder in females should thus be increased.

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Available from: Meir H Kryger, Jan 25, 2015
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    • ". Numerous validation studies have reported moderate to high consistency between results of the Berlin Questionnaire and parameters of polysomnography, particularly respiratory disturbance index (RDI) > 5 and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 5, especially within clinical populations [24]. The questionnaire is divided into three categories [19] [25]. Category 1 evaluates snoring characteristics and how often the respondent ceases breathing during sleep. "
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    ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional study evaluates the prevalence and extent to which high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with general obesity and central obesity among college students in Punta Arenas, Chile. Risk for OSA was assessed using the Berlin Questionnaire and trained research nurses measured anthropometric indices. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) of 25-29.9 kg/m(2) and general obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2). Central obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥90 centimeters (cm) for males and ≥80 cm for females. Multivariate logistic regression models were fit to obtain adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Prevalence of high risk for OSA, general obesity, and central obesity were 7.8%, 12.8%, and 42.7%, respectively. Students at high risk for OSA had greater odds of general obesity (OR 9.96; 95% CI: 4.42-22.45) and central obesity (OR 2.78; 95% CI 1.43-5.40). Findings support a strong positive association of high risk for OSA with obesity.
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    • "Global obesity is considered to be the main (but not the only) risk factor for OSA in women (Anttalainen et al., 2007; Kapsimalis & Kryger, 2009; Kritikou et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is often overlooked in the context of schizophrenia because its hallmark, daytime sleepiness, is so easily attributable to antipsychotic drugs. This is a special problem for women. Aims: To underscore the importance of diagnosing and treating OSA in women with schizophrenia. Methods: A review of the recent literature (search terms: Obstructive Sleep Apnoea; Schizophrenia; Women (or Gender); Obesity; Antipsychotics; Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)) as it applies to a composite case vignette taken from the files of a specialty clinic that treats women with psychosis. Results: The rate of OSA in women who are both obese and postmenopausal is very similar to that of men. Family history, smoking, and the use of tobacco, alcohol and of antipsychotic medication increase the risk. Despite reluctance, patients with schizophrenia generally agree to undergo sleep studies. Compliance with CPAP is difficult, but can be aided by the physician and is, on the whole, relatively high in women. CPAP improves sleep parameters and may also improve cardiometabolic and cognitive indices, although this still needs to be more fully researched. Conclusion: Schizophrenia and untreated OSA are both associated with high mortality rates in women as well as men.
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