Study objectives: Little is known about the natural development of snoring, and this survey was conducted to study the development of snoring in men over a 10-year period.
Design: Population-based prospective survey.
Setting: The Municipality of Uppsala, Sweden.
Participants and measurements: In 1984, 3,201 randomly selected men aged 30 to 69 years answered a questionnaire on snoring and sleep disturbances. Of the 2,975 survivors in 1994, 2,668 (89.7%) answered a new questionnaire with identical questions to those used at baseline. Questions about smoking habits, alcohol, and physical activity were also added.
Results: Habitual snoring was reported by 393 men (15.0%) in 1984 and by 529 (20.4%) 10 years later. In both 1984 and 1994, the prevalence of snoring increased until age 50 to 60 years and then decreased. Risk factors for being a habitual snorer at the follow-up were investigated using multiple logistic regression with adjustments for previous snoring status, age, body mass index (BMI), weight gain, smoking habits, and physical activity. In men aged 30 to 49 years at baseline, the predictors of habitual snoring at the follow-up, in addition to previous snoring status, were as follows: persistent smoking (adjusted odds ratio, 95% confidence interval) (1.4, 1.1 to 1.9), BMI 1984 (1.1, 1.02 to 1.1/kg/m2) and weight gain (1.1, 1.03 to 1.2/kg/m2). Among men aged 50 to 69 years, after adjustments for previous snoring status and age, weight gain was the only significant risk factor for developing habitual snoring (1.2, 1.05 to 1.4/kg/m2).
Conclusions: In men, the prevalence of snoring increases up to the age of 50 to 60 years and is then followed by a decrease. Weight gain is a risk factor for snoring in all age groups, while smoking is mainly associated with snoring in men <60 years of age.