Monday, June 21, 2010

OSA Characteristics Vary by Onset Age

A new study published in the journal CHEST found that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may affect people who developed the condition during middle-aged more than those who developed it later in life.

Death due to OSA is increased in the elderly population. But the characteristics of OSA in elderly patients have not been determined. This study clarified differences between patients with middle-age onset and elderly onset.

Each patient was 65 years of age or more at the time of the study. The patients were split into groups depending on the age they developed OSA. The middle-age onset group included 32 people. They developed OSA before 50 years of age. The elderly onset group included 31 people. They developed OSA at 60 years or age or more.

The groups were compared in several ways. Researchers examined demographics. They also looked at sleep study results. Daytime sleepiness and treatment outcomes were also observed.

Results indicate that body mass index and underlying cardiovascular disorders were lower in the elderly onset group than in the middle-age onset group.

No significant differences in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) or Oxygen levels were found. AHI represents the average number of full breaks and partial breaks in breathing that occur per hour of sleep.

The elderly-onset group required lower CPAP levels for treatment. They also reported less daytime sleepiness.

Compared with the middle-age onset group, OSA characteristics in the elderly onset group seemed milder.

Researchers noted that this finding is possibly because of the smaller physiologic response to respiratory events in elderly patients.

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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.