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Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jul 2;14(3):e36317. eCollection 2016 Jul.

Association Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University, New York, USA; Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Department of Medicine, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Hypoxia reduces osteoblast growth resulting in bone thinning and osteoporosis. Although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with recurrent hypoxia might be a contributing factor for osteoporosis development, whether OSA is a risk or protective factor for osteoporosis has not been demonstrated.


This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the association between OSA and osteoporosis using published observational studies.


PubMed/MEDLINE and EMBASE databases.


We completed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published observational studies that evaluated incidence or prevalence of osteoporosis or bone mineral density in obstructive sleep apnea compared with controls. Severity of OSA was characterized using the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI).


Primary outcomes were incidence, prevalence, or odds ratio of having osteoporosis, defined as bone mineral density T-score < -2.5 SD.


Of 353 articles, 344 articles were excluded, 9 underwent full-length review and data were extracted from 7 studies consisting of 113,558 patients. Finally, 3 extracted studies were included in the meta-analysis of osteoporosis. Among cohort studies, the pooled odds ratio of osteoporosis in patients with OSA was 1.92 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24 - 2.97) compared with controls. Among cross-sectional studies, odds of osteoporosis was higher in controls compared with patients with OSA (OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.42 - 0.87). In subgroup analysis by gender and study design, in both sexes, only cohort studies had higher odds of osteoporosis compared with controls.


There was significant association between OSA and osteoporosis in studies with cohort design. Further prospective studies with large numbers of patients adjusted for the effects of age, sex, or BMI are required to comprehensively determine whether OSA is a risk factor for osteoporosis.


Meta-Analysis; Obstructive Sleep Apnea; Osteoporosis; Risk; Systematic Review

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest:We do not have any financial or non-financial potential conflicts of interest.

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