There was a high prevalence of objectively measured but undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in African Americans. This according to a recent study that aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of OSA overall and by sex among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Sleep Study. Snoring, body mass index (BMI), and neck circumference were important markers of OSA for men and women. Participants (n=852) underwent a type 3 in-home sleep apnea study, 7-day wrist actigraphy, and completed standardized measurements and questionnaires. Average age was 63.1 (SD = 10.7), 66% were female, and mean BMI was 32.0 (6.9) kg/m2. Researchers found:
- Approximately 24% had an apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 15; of those, 5% had a physician diagnosis of OSA.
- Prevalence of OSA increased across BMI categories, but not age groups.
- Men had a 12% higher prevalence of OSA compared with women.
- Older age, male sex, higher BMI, larger neck circumference, and report of habitual snoring were independently associated with higher odds of OSA.
- Sleepiness and waist circumference were not associated with OSA.
Johnson DA, Guo N, Rueschman M, Wang R, Wilson JG, Redline S. Prevalence and correlates of obstructive sleep apnea among African Americans: The Jackson Heart Sleep Study. [Published online ahead of print September 5, 2018]. Sleep. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy154.
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