Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder with a prevalence ranging from 2.1 to 7.5%. Obesity has been implicated as a strong risk factor for OSA. Berlin questionnaire (BQ) is as a well-validated tool for screening for OSA in a primary care setting. Data regarding the prevalence of OSA among South Asian population is limited. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of OSA among Pakistani physicians using the BQ.
We administered the BQ to physicians practicing at a University hospital In addition the physicians were administered the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS).
173 physicians participated in the study. Mean age was 31yrs +/− 10.1, and 31.2% were male. 18 (10.4%) out of 173 physicians were in high risk group as compared to 155 (89.5%) were in low risk group. Among men, prevalence of high-risk group on BQ was 20.3%. Physicians classified as high-risk had normal values for body mass index (BMI). Both ESS, and SSS were also within normal limits in the high-risk group (Table 1).
Based on BQ there is a very high prevalence of OSA amongst male physicians in Pakistan. This may be under-diagnosed due to absence of both obesity as well as excessive daytime sleepiness.
Screening strategies for OSA in Pakistan may need to be modified taking into account peculiar ethnic factors. More widespread studies are needed to better define the OSA phenotype in Pakistan.
Salim Surani, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information