A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing examined obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms common to different age and gender groups. The study used demographic, subjective complaints and medical history.
Data was collected from 23,806 patients. Patients ranged from 21 to 80 years of age. The group was divided into 24 groups by gender and 5-year age intervals. Each patient took an overnight sleep study between the years 2000 and 2009.
The researchers found the gender-specific relationship between AHI and age. They then used this data to determine the best fitting AHIs for each age and gender group.
The study showed that OSA characteristics are not uniform across gender and age. They may also vary between obese and non-obese patients. These findings should be taken into account in the clinicians’ diagnosis of OSA.
Seventy percent of patients had an AHI greater than 10, indicating the presence of at least mild OSA. Men had consistently higher AHI than women. The best fitting AHI cutoff point increased with age in both genders. Results showed that in obese men, AHI increased from age 20 to 40 years and remained stable thereafter. Alternatively, there was a linear increase in AHI with age in both obese and non-obese women.
The results indicate that OSA severity varies with age and gender, with women having less severe syndrome in all ages. Obesity and snoring are OSA predictors in men and women of all ages. Excessive daytime sleepiness and hypertension were OSA predictors all participants except for women 21 to 40 years of age.
Read more about age and OSA here.