Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 9 » Issue 1

The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome-related symptoms and their relation to airflow limitation in an elderly population receiving home care

Authors Kleisiaris C, Kritsotakis E, Daniil Z, Tzanakis N, Papaioannou A, Gourgoulianis K

Received 15 May 2014

Accepted for publication 29 June 2014

Published 10 October 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1111—1117


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Christos F Kleisiaris,1 Evangelos I Kritsotakis,2 Zoe Daniil,3 Nikolaos Tzanakis,4 Agelos Papaioannou,5 Konstantinos I Gourgoulianis3

1Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Heraklion, Greece; 2School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England; 3Respiratory Medicine Department, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece; 4Department of Thoracic Medicine, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece; 5Department of Medical Laboratories, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece

Background: Both airflow limitation and obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS)-related symptoms are most prevalent in the elderly population. Previous studies revealed significant associations between OSAHS-related symptoms and obstructive airway diseases in the general population. However, other studies showed that the frequency of OSAHS-related symptoms in patients with obstructive airway diseases decreases after the age of 60 and older.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of OSAHS-related symptoms (snoring, breathing pauses, and excessive daytime sleepiness [EDS]) and their relations to airflow limitation, for people over 65 years old.
Methods: A full screening spirometry program was performed in a total of 490 aging participants (mean age 77.5 years – range 65–98) who were attending 16 home care settings in central Greece. Airflow limitation was assessed according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) spirometric criteria (FEV1/FVC ,70%). The Berlin Questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale were used to screen individuals for OSAHS-related symptoms. Bivariate associations were described using odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: Airflow limitation prevalence was 17.1% (male 24.2% and female 9.9%) and was strongly related to male gender and smoking status. The prevalence rates of frequent snoring, breathing pauses, and EDS were 28.1%, 12.9%, and 11.6%, respectively. However, participants with airflow limitation were less likely to report breathing pauses, frequent snoring, EDS, and obesity. Finally, frequent snoring was significantly more common in males than females.
Conclusion: This study revealed decreased frequency of OSAHS-related symptoms in participants with airflow limitation suggesting that OSAHS-related symptoms and airflow limitation are not related in our elderly population.

Keywords: sleep apnea syndrome, obstructive airway diseases, excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]