Though obesity is a known major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea, many non-obese people also have the condition, according to the results of a new study.
Among 5 426 non-obese adults (with a body-mass index between 18.5 and 27), obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) was present in 54%. About half of those with the condition had mild cases and half had moderate to severe OSA.
The study found that moderate to severe OSA was most common in middle-age men with larger neck sizes. The researchers noted that they were surprised to find no significant differences in Epworth Sleepiness Scale results and neck size between non-obese people who did and did not have OSA. The scale is a standardised method of measuring daytime sleepiness.
"More than 50% of non-obese OSA patients had mild OSA, suggesting that in-lab polysomnography may be more accurate in assessing people in this demographic, as opposed to portable monitoring systems," said lead author Teimur Yeligulashvili, clinical supervisor at SleepTech.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Earlier research had found an association between OSA and serious health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and increased risk of death. – (HealthDay News, June 2009)
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