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Respir Med. 2007 Jun;101(6):1283-90. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Snoring and daytime sleepiness as risk factors for hypertension and diabetes in women--a population-based study.

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Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Akademiska Sjukhuset, SE-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to analyze whether snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), are associated with hypertension and diabetes in women. A random sample of 6779 women aged 20-99 years answered questionnaires on sleep disturbances, daytime symptoms and somatic diseases. The women were categorized into four groups: "no EDS or snoring" (reference group), "snoring but no EDS", "EDS but no snoring" and "snoring and EDS". Prevalences of hypertension and diabetes were lowest in the reference group (8.7% and 1.6%, respectively) and highest among women with both snoring and EDS (hypertension: 26.3%, diabetes: 5.8%). In a multivariate model adjusting for age, body mass index, smoking, physical activity and alcohol dependency, "snoring and EDS" was a risk factor for hypertension (adjusted OR 1.82 (95% CI 1.30-2.55)) while isolated snoring or EDS was not. "Snoring and EDS" was more closely related to hypertension among women aged <50 years (adj. OR 3.41 (1.78-6.54) vs. 1.50 (1.02-2.19), P=0.01). For diabetes, both "EDS but no snoring" and "snoring and EDS" were risk factors and the associations were most pronounced in women aged >50 years (adj. OR 2.33 (1.28-4.26) for "EDS but no snoring" and 2.00 (1.05-3.84) for "snoring and EDS"). We conclude that the combination of snoring and EDS is a risk factor for hypertension and diabetes in women. For hypertension, the risk is partly age dependent and, for diabetes, EDS without snoring is a risk factor of similar magnitude. These differences might indicate differences in pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the association between sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension and diabetes respectively.

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