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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27515. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027515. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Snoring, inflammatory markers, adipokines and metabolic syndrome in apparently healthy Chinese.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.



Chronic low-grade inflammation and adipokines dysregulation are linked to mechanisms underscoring the pathogenesis of obesity-related metabolic disorders. Little is known about roles of these cytokines on the association between snoring and metabolic syndrome (MetS). We aimed to investigate whether a cluster of cytokines are related to snoring frequency and its association with MetS in apparently healthy Chinese.


Current analyses used a population-based sample including 1059 Shanghai residents aged 35-54 years. Self-reported snoring frequency was classified as never, occasionally and regularly. Fasting plasma glucose, lipid profile, insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, interleukin-18, lipopolysaccharide binding protein, high-molecular-weight adiponectin and leptin were measured. MetS was defined by the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian-Americans.


Overweight/obese subjects had significantly higher prevalence of regular snorers than their normal-weight counterparts (34.8% vs. 11.5%, P<0.001). Regular snoring was associated with unfavorable profile of inflammatory markers and adipokines. However, those associations were abolished after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference. The MetS risk (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio 5.41, 95% confidence interval 3.72-7.88) was substantially higher in regular snorers compared with non-snorers. Controlling for BMI remarkably attenuated the association (2.03, 1.26-3.26), while adjusting for inflammatory markers and adipokines showed little effects.


Frequent snoring was associated with an elevated MetS risk independent of lifestyle factors, adiposity, inflammatory markers and adipokines in apparently healthy Chinese. Whether snoring pattern is an economic and no-invasive indicator for screening high-risk persons needs to be addressed prospectively.

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