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Respiration. 2009;78(1):23-9. doi: 10.1159/000218143. Epub 2009 May 6.

Effects of age on the clinical features of men with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is little information on the differences in polysomnographic findings in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) between elderly and young or middle-aged adults.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to elucidate the clinical characteristics of elderly patients compared to young or middle-aged patients with OSAS.

METHODS:

A total of 757 male patients who were found to have OSAS (apnea-hypopnea index, AHI > or = 5) were enrolled. After nocturnal polysomnography, patients also completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale.

RESULTS:

The patients were divided into three groups: ages 20-44 (n = 254), ages 45-64 (n = 373), and ages 65-86 (n = 130). Body mass index (BMI) and the proportion of overweight patients (BMI > or =25) were lower in the elderly group (ages 65-84) than in the other age groups (all p < 0.01). However, in the elderly group, there was a significant correlation between AHI and BMI (r = 0.28, p < 0.01), and BMI was a significant determinant of AHI (beta = 0.30, p < 0.01). In addition, the elderly group showed a high percentage of apneas among apneas and hypopneas ( p = 0.02) and increased duration of apnea-hypopnea (p < 0.01) compared to the other age groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the occurrence of OSAS in the elderly with low BMI, the influence of body weight on the severity of OSAS was still significant in elderly patients. Age-related high collapsibility of the upper airways could explain the higher percentage of apneas and longer duration of apnea-hypopnea in the elderly compared to young or middle-aged patients with OSAS.

PMID:
19420898
DOI:
10.1159/000218143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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