The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome-related symptoms and their relation to airflow limitation in an elderly population receiving home care
AuthorKleisiaris, C. F.; Kritsotakis, E. I.; Daniil, Z.; Tzanakis, N.; Papaioannou, A.; Gourgoulianis, K. I.
Background: Both airflow limitation and obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS)-related symptoms are most prevalent in the elderly population. Previous studies revealed significant associations between OSAHS-related symptoms and obstructive airway diseases in the general population. However, other studies showed that the frequency of OSAHS-related symptoms in patients with obstructive airway diseases decreases after the age of 60 and older. Aims: To investigate the prevalence of OSAHS-related symptoms (snoring, breathing pauses, and excessive daytime sleepiness [EDS]) and their relations to airflow limitation, for people over 65 years old. Methods: A full screening spirometry program was performed in a total of 490 aging participants (mean age 77.5 years - range 65-98) who were attending 16 home care settings in central Greece. Airflow limitation was assessed according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) spirometric criteria (FEV1/FVC <70%). The Berlin Questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale were used to screen individuals for OSAHS-related symptoms. Bivariate associations were described using odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Airflow limitation prevalence was 17.1% (male 24.2% and female 9.9%) and was strongly related to male gender and smoking status. The prevalence rates of frequent snoring, breathing pauses, and EDS were 28.1%, 12.9%, and 11.6%, respectively. However, participants with airflow limitation were less likely to report breathing pauses, frequent snoring, EDS, and obesity. Finally, frequent snoring was significantly more common in males than females. Conclusion: This study revealed decreased frequency of OSAHS-related symptoms in participants with airflow limitation suggesting that OSAHS-related symptoms and airflow limitation are not related in our elderly population.