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.