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Rev Mal Respir. 2007 Mar;24(3 Pt 1):305-13.

[Prevalence of symptoms of sleep apnea syndrome. Study of a French middle-aged population].

[Article in French]

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D├ępartement de Pneumologie, CHU Angers, France.



To study the prevalence of symptoms of sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS) in a large French middle-aged population and to establish what proportion have symptoms that justify further investigation with a sleep study.


We performed a cross-sectional study of 2,195 men and 2,247 women, 33 to 69 year old (DESIR. cohort) recording responses to a self-administered "sleep" questionnaire and a general questionnaire including socio-economic characteristics and lifestyle factors.


The prevalence of symptoms in men and women were respectively: snoring frequently (28%, 14%), frequent daytime sleepiness (14%, 18%) and frequent apnoeas (5%, 2%). Overall, 8.5% of men and 6.3% of women reported a pattern of symptoms suggestive of OSA, as they snored and had daytime sleepiness and/or apnoeas. This pattern was associated, for both sexes, with age, body mass index and after adjustment on these two factors, to a mediocre self-reported health status and treatment with benzodiazepines or other sedatives. For men only, the OSA pattern of symptoms was also associated with, hypertension, alcohol consumption and smoking.


Snoring, daytime hypersomnolence and witnessed apnoeas are symptoms frequently observed in the general population. Subjects with a combination of these abnormalities suggesting a high probability of sleep apnoea syndrome and in whom a sleep study is warranted represent 7.5% of the adult population.

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