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Original Research: SLEEP MEDICINE |

Longitudinal Study of Risk Factors for Habitual Snoring in a General Adult Population*: The Busselton Health Study

Matthew Knuiman, PhD; Alan James, MD; Mark Divitini, BAppSc; Helen Bartholomew, BSc
Author and Funding Information

*From the School of Population Health (Dr. Knuiman, Mr. Divitini, and Ms. Bartholomew), The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA; and Western Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute (Dr. James), Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Perth, WA, Australia.

Correspondence to: Matthew Knuiman, PhD, School of Population Health (M431), The University of Western Australia, Nedlands 6009, WA, Australia; e-mail: Matthew.Knuiman@uwa.edu.au



Chest. 2006;130(6):1779-1783. doi:10.1378/chest.130.6.1779
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Background: The aim of this longitudinal study was to identify body size, behavioral, and respiratory risk factors for the development of habitual snoring in a general adult population.

Methods: The sample for this study comprised 967 adults aged 25 to 74 years who reported not snoring in the 1981 Busselton Health Survey and who also attended the 1994–1995 follow-up survey. Logistic regression was used to identify and quantify the effect of baseline and change risk factors for the development of habitual snoring.

Results: A total of 13% had become habitual snorers by 1994–1995. Male gender (odds ratio [OR], 3.5) and baseline body mass index (OR, 1.4 per 3.4 kg/m2) were significant predictors of habitual snoring; after accounting for these variables, no other baseline body size, behavioral, or respiratory/allergy variables were significantly related to the development of habitual snoring. However, change in body mass index over the 14-year follow-up period (OR, 1.55 per 2.3 kg/m2), development of asthma (OR, 2.8), and commencement of smoking (OR, 2.2) were additional significant independent risk factors for development of habitual snoring.

Conclusions: This study has confirmed male gender, obesity, and weight gain as key determinants of habitual snoring, and has indicated that development of asthma and taking up smoking also play a role. Maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking are recommended lifestyle preventive strategies to reduce the risk of sleep-disordered breathing and its sequelae.


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