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Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Jul;102(1):68-75.

Breathing during sleep in menopause: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial with estrogen therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland. paivi.polo-kantola@tyks.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the prevalence of different types of nocturnal breathing abnormalities in postmenopausal women and the effect of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) on nocturnal breathing.

METHODS:

A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study was completed by 62 of 71 recruited healthy women. The first 3-month treatment period with either estrogen or placebo was followed by placebo washout for a month and then by a second treatment period with crossover to either estrogen or placebo. On a night after each treatment period, sleep was monitored with polysomnography, and breathing was assessed with a static-charge-sensitive bed and oximeter. For the respiratory variables, a sample size of 48 subjects was sufficient to give statistical power of 85% with a significance level of P <.05.

RESULTS:

The occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea in all women was low (1.6%), but partial upper airway obstruction, manifesting as an increased respiratory resistance pattern, was more common (17.7%). Estrogen replacement therapy decreased the occurrence (P =.047) and frequency (P =.049) of sleep apnea but had no effect on partial upper airway obstruction or arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation.

CONCLUSION:

Partial upper airway obstruction is the most prevalent form of sleep-disordered breathing, occurring ten times more frequently than sleep apnea in postmenopausal women. Unopposed estrogen replacement therapy has only a minor effect on sleep apnea and has no effect on partial airway obstruction.

PMID:
12850609
DOI:
10.1016/s0029-7844(03)00374-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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