PURPOSE: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a relatively common problem with potentially serious health consequences. The purpose of this study was to find out whether ethnicity has any effect on the severity of OSA. Our hypothesis was that obstructive sleep apnea is severe in African-American patients than Caucasian patients.
METHODS: This retrospective study was performed at Truman Medical Center, a major teaching hospital affiliated with University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine. The study was approved by the IRB for human studies.Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to establish whether race was predictive of apnea-hypopnea index(AHI) when controlling for age, gender, and BMI. The analysis included 280 patients with complete data for each of the variables in the model.
RESULTS: Race (the primary predictor of interest) did not significantly predict apnea-hypopnea index(p=0.172), neither did age(p=0.783). Males had higher AHI than females (p=<0.001) and higher BMI was associated with higher AHI (p=<0.001). There were more African American females in the sample population than Caucasian females (p=0.043). African Americans were also more likely to suffer from hypertension (p=0.037).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that race is not a predictor of severity of obstructive sleep apnea after controlling for age, gender and body mass index.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: There is a need for more prevalence studies of OSA involving different races. Emphasis should be placed on inter-ethnic comparative data collection and analysis.
DISCLOSURE: Ammar Alkhazna, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information