Differences between Men and Women in Risk Profile of commonly used metrics in Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea using NHANES data.



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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common chronic condition that is often underdiagnosed, especially in women due to differences in symptomology. OSA is diagnosed using polysomnography which is time intensive and impracticable as a screening method. Alternate methods for screening based on symptoms exist with varying sensitivities. This study used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) based on a nationally representative US sample (n=20,497) to test for associations between self-reported sleep apnea and risk factors, such as snoring, fatigue, hypertension, and obesity. Data was taken from the sleep questionnaire 2005-2008, along with BMI, blood pressure, and demographic data for 12,600 subjects at least 16 years old. After excluding those with missing data on the set of risk factors, the final sample was 8373. A main objective of the study was to see if there was a difference in risk profile between men and women. Multivariable model (using logistic regression) compared [snoring, observed apnea, somnolence, age, gender, hypertension, BMI, history of smoking, race/ethnicity, education, and annual household income] to self-reported sleep apnea. Results indicated that observed apnea had the highest risk of OSA (OR:7.435, 95% CI:5.698, 9.745) followed by obesity (OR:4.524, 95% CI:3.523, 5.849). Snoring, age, and annual household income had statistically differing risks between men and women.