Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: Complaints and housing characteristics in a population in the United States
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Context and Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults. Early detection of the disorder and discovery of risk factors through standardized questionnaires will lead to reduction of the OSAS burden. The main aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of OSAS symptoms and examine their association with housing characteristics. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional study at a medical school. Methods: Demographic, housing and body measurement data on 5,545 individuals aged 16 years and over of various races were selected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We analyzed the probability of OSAS based on habitual snoring combined with daytime sleepiness and/or witnessed apnea. Univariate and multiple linear regression were used. Results: 9.8% of the men and 6.9% of the women reported symptoms suggestive of OSAS (habitual snoring, daytime sleepiness and/or apnea). The following prevalences of symptoms were found among males and females respectively: frequent snoring 35.1%, 22.3%, excessive daytime sleepiness 6.4%, 3.4% and frequent apnea 14.9%, 20.6%. Using multiple linear regression, OSAS symptoms were correlated with gender, age, body mass index (BMI), marital status and education. Regarding housing characteristics, mildew or musty smell and pets in the environment were associated with a high probability of OSAS. Conclusion: OSAS symptoms were more prevalent than in developing countries. The environment was an important risk factor, but environmental factors are easier to control and manage than other variables like BMI or socioeconomic status.