Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sleep Apnea Prevalence in Iran

A study in the journal Sleep and Breathing reported data on the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Iran. In the first Iranian study of its kind, researchers sought to identify people at-risk for developing OSA.

The study included 3,529 Iranians aged 18 to 70 years old. Fifty-three percent of the participants were female.

Each of the subjects took the Berlin Sleep Questionnaire, which is a common test used to gauge risk for sleep apnea. The questionnaire was translated into Persian and then back into English to ensure its validity.

The participants’ body mass indexes were also calculated using height and weight.

Based on their responses, 176 subjects were considered at-risk for OSA, of which 58 percent were female. The results indicate that an estimated five percent of the Iranian population is at-risk for the sleep disorder.

In the U.S., an estimated four percent of men and two percent of women are at risk for the condition.

Like in the U.S., OSA risk in Iran increased with age and weight. People more than 50 years of age had a higher risk for OSA. Ninety percent of the at-risk patients were overweight or obese. Smoking tobacco products, which can raise a person’s risk, was practiced by more than 22 percent of the Iranian men.

In contrast to the U.S., Iranian women were more likely than Iranian men to suffer from OSA. The researchers note that snoring is not socially acceptable in Iran, so the men may have under-reported snoring habits while the women reported more honestly.

This is not the first time that an English OSA screening tool was translated into another language. In April, this blog reported on researchers that translated the Epworth Sleepiness Scale into Korean to help gauge OSA prevalence in South Korean.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.