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Women with symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing are less likely to be diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea than men
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
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2017 (English)In: Sleep Medicine, ISSN 1389-9457, E-ISSN 1878-5506, Vol. 35, p. 17-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Women are often underrepresented at sleep clinics evaluating sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). The aim of the present study was to analyze gender differences in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment in men and women with similar symptoms of SDB. Methods: Respiratory Health in Northern Europe (RHINE) provided information about snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), BMI and somatic diseases at baseline (1999-2001) and follow-up (2010-2012) from 4962 men and 5892 women. At follow-up participants were asked whether they had a diagnosis of and/or treatment for sleep apnea. Results: Among those with symptoms of SDB (snoring and EDS), more men than women had been given the diagnosis of sleep apnea (25% vs. 14%, p < 0.001), any treatment (17% vs. 11%, p = 0.05) and CPAP (6% vs. 3%, p = 0.04) at follow-up. Predictors of receiving treatment were age, BMI, SDB symptoms at baseline and weight gain, while female gender was related to a lower probability of receiving treatment (adj OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.3-0.5). In both genders, the symptoms of SDB increased the risk of developing hypertension (adj OR, 95% CI: 1.5, 1.2-1.8); and diabetes (1.5, 1.05-2.3), independent of age, BMI, smoking and weight gain. Conclusions: Snoring females with daytime sleepiness may be under-diagnosed and under-treated for sleep apnea compared with males, despite running a similar risk of developing hypertension and diabetes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 35, p. 17-22
Keywords [en]
Snoring, Sleepiness, Gender differences, Sleep apnea, CPAP
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General Practice
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138553DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2017.02.032ISI: 000404709200004PubMedID: 28619177OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138553DiVA, id: diva2:1141462
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Franklin, Karl A.

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