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JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Jul 1;144(7):587-593. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0485.

Association of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment With Sexual Quality of Life in Patients With Sleep Apnea: Follow-up Study of a Randomized Clinical Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle.
2
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
3
Surgery Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.

Abstract

Importance:

Obstructive sleep apnea reduces sexual quality of life (QOL) as a result of reduced libido and intimacy, erectile dysfunction, and several other mechanisms. Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea may improve sexual QOL.

Objective:

To test the association of long-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment with sexual QOL for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

Prospective cohort study at a single, tertiary medical center of patients with newly diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea who were prescribed CPAP treatment from September 1, 2007, through June 30, 2010 (follow-up completed June 30, 2011). The statistical analysis was performed from February 1 through December 31, 2017.

Exposures:

Use of CPAP treatment objectively measured by the number of hours per night. Users of CPAP were defined as patients who used CPAP treatment for more than 4 hours per night, and nonusers were defined as patients who used CPAP treatment for fewer than 0.5 hours per night.

Main Outcomes and Measures:

Data were collected from eligible patients before CPAP treatment was prescribed and 12 months later by using the validated Symptoms of Nocturnal Obstruction and Related Events-25 (SNORE-25) QOL instrument. The 2 sex-specific items used to create the sexual QOL domain were taken from the SNORE-25. The sexual QOL domain was scored in a range from 0 to 5 (higher score is worse). The difference in sexual QOL between CPAP users and nonusers was analyzed using a paired, 2-tailed t test and multivariable linear regression adjusted for potential confounders.

Results:

Of the 182 participants in the cohort, 115 (63.2%) were men (mean [SD] age, 47.2 [12.3] years) with severe OSA (mean [SD] apnea-hypopnea index, 32.5 [23.8] events per hour). At the 12-month follow-up, 72 CPAP users (mean [SD] use, 6.4 [1.2] hours per night) had greater improvement than 110 nonusers (0 [0] hours per night) in sexual QOL scores (0.7 [1.2] vs 0.1 [1.1]; difference, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.18-0.90; effect size, 0.47). A moderate treatment association was observed after adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, income level, educational level, body mass index, apnea-hypopnea index, and the Functional Comorbidity Index (adjusted difference, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.09-0.89; effect size, 0.43). Subgroup analysis revealed a large treatment association for women (adjusted difference, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.50-2.18; effect size, 0.87) but not for men (adjusted difference, 0.16; 95% CI, -0.26 to 0.58; effect size, 0.19).

Conclusions and Relevance:

Successful CPAP use may be associated with improved sexual QOL. Subgroup analysis revealed a large improvement in women but no improvement in men. Further study is warranted to test other measures of sexual QOL and other treatments.

Trial Registration:

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00503802.

PMID:
29800001
PMCID:
PMC6145781
[Available on 2019-05-24]
DOI:
10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0485

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