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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2015 Nov;29(11):591-6. doi: 10.1089/apc.2015.0079. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms as a Predictor of Fatigue in an Urban HIV Clinic.

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1 Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, Minnesota.
4 Hennepin County Medical Center , Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2 Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, Minnesota.
3 Department of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Fatigue is common among persons living with HIV (PLWH), and risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) such as older age and obesity are increasingly prevalent. Studies of OSA among PLWH are lacking, so we aimed to characterize OSA symptoms and associated clinical consequences (e.g., fatigue) among a contemporary population of PLWH. Self-administered surveys containing 23 items that included self-reported snoring, witnessed apneas, estimated sleep duration, the Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS), and the FACIT-Fatigue score were mailed to PLWH receiving care at an urban HIV clinic. Clinical/demographic data were collected from the medical record. Multivariable linear regression models were created to study relationships between fatigue, clinical variables, and OSA symptoms. Of 535 surveys, 203 (38%) responded. Eight patients (3.9%) had known OSA. Among those without known OSA, mean respondent characteristics included: age 47 years; 80% male, 41% African American, 48% Caucasian, BMI 26.4 kg/m(2), duration of HIV diagnosis 12 years, 93% on antiretroviral therapy, and 81% with <50 HIV RNA copies/mL. 27% reported snoring, 24% reported witnessed apneas, and 38% had excessive daytime sleepiness. Witnessed apnea was the strongest independent predictor of fatigue (lower FACIT-Fatigue score; β = -6.49; p < 0.001); this difference of 6.49 points exceeds the accepted minimal clinically important difference of 3.0 points. Other predictors included opioid use (β = -5.53; p < 0.001), depression (β = -4.18; p = 0.02), antidepressant use (β = -4.25; p = 0.02), and sleep duration < 6 h (β = -3.42; p = 0.02). Our data strongly support the need for increased efforts directed at OSA screening and treatment in PLWH.

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