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JRSM Short Rep. 2013 Nov 21;4(12):2042533313510156. doi: 10.1177/2042533313510156. eCollection 2013 Dec.

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome in obstructive sleep apnea patients in the United Arab Emirates: a retrospective cross-sectional study.

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Respirology Division, Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Respirology Division, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University. Al-Ain, UAE.



To estimate the frequency of symptoms of obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and to evaluate comorbidities associated with OHS.


Retrospective study based on patients' medical records and on further sleep tests performed in the study centre during the inclusion visit.


Respiratory Care Unit and Sleep Disorder Centre of the Zayed Military Hospital United Arab Emirates.


All patients referred to the study centre for a suspicion of sleep-disordered breathing.


Prevalence of OSA and OSA + OHS and comorbidities in patients with OSA and OHS.


A total of 212 adult patients participated in the study. Of these, 107 patients (50.5% [43.8-57.1% CI 95%]) fulfilled diagnostic criteria for OSA, and the majority were men (79.4%). Among patients with OSA, 18 patients (16.8% [10.8-25.1% CI 95%]) fulfilled diagnostic criteria for OHS. In this group, women were more frequently affected than men (31.8% [7/22] vs. 12.9% [11/85], respectively; p = 0.03) and tended to be older than affected men, with a mean age of 55 ± 10.6 years versus 46 ± 13 for men. After adjustment for gender, OHS was significantly associated with hypertension (OR = 3.5; p = 0.03), diabetes mellitus (OR = 4.6; p = 0.02), ischaemic heart disease (OR = 5.1; p = 0.04) and pulmonary hypertension (OR = 16.1; p = 0.001).


OHS is a common condition in obese patients in the UAE and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular comorbidities and diabetes.


Pickwickian syndrome; hyperpnoea syndrome; obesity; obstructive lung disease; obstructive sleep apnoea; pulmonary hypertension; restrictive lung disease

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