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Sleep Breath. 2015 Mar;19(1):239-46. doi: 10.1007/s11325-014-1002-0. Epub 2014 May 22.

The effect of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and snoring severity to intima-media thickening of carotid artery.

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Chest Diseases Clinic, Dr. Lutfi Kirdar Kartal Research and Teaching Hospital, Yazmaci Tahir sk. Polat Sitesi B/Blok No. 42/23 Catalcesme/Bostanci/Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkey,



Intima-media thickening (IMT), which is the early finding of carotid artery atherosclerosis, has been shown to be associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In our study, we aimed to assess prospectively the effect of severity of OSAS and snoring on carotid artery IMT.


A total of 102 patients who were admitted to sleep laboratory between May 2011 and May 2012 were included in the study. All patients were examined by polysomnography. Common carotid arteries (CCA) and internal carotid arteries (ICA) were evaluated for IMT by carotid Doppler ultrasonography.


The mean age was 45.9 ± 11.1, with 40 (39.2 %) women and 62 (60.8 %) men. Of 88 OSAS patients who had an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of >5, 33 (37.5 %) had mild, 20 (22.7 %) had moderate, and 35 (39.8 %) had severe disease. Fourteen patients who had AHI <5 were designated as the habitual snoring group. IMT was detected in 17 (16.7 %) of all patients. In patients with severe OSAS, CCA walls were thicker (p = 0.040) and IMT ratios were higher (p = 0.019) compared to mild/moderate OSAS patients. In patients with IMT, age, AHI, oxygen desaturation index (ODI), and snoring index were higher compared to patients without IMT (p < 0.05).


Carotid artery IMT, which is an early finding of atherosclerosis, was found to be highly correlated with OSAS and snoring severity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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