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Original Research: Sleep Disorders |

Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Adolescents and Younger Adults: A Representative Population-Based Survey in Chile

Pablo E. Brockmann, MD, PhD; Felipe Damiani, MSc; David Gozal, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

FUNDING/SUPPORT: The Chilean Health Ministry funded the Second National Health Survey 2009-2010 used for this study and FONDECYT project number 11130573 supported the study analysis.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Pablo E. Brockmann, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology; Sleep Center; School of Medicine; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Lira 85 5to piso, 8330074 Santiago de Chile


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(4):981-990. doi:10.1378/chest.15-2112
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Background  Prevalence and potential risk contributors of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in adolescents and younger adults remain unclear. We hypothesized that SDB prevalence in younger Hispanic adults is higher than the limited evidence indicates.

Methods  This is a population-based study of Hispanic subjects surveyed as part of the Chilean National Health Survey database. For this study, only subjects aged 15 to 40 years were included. Sleep and demographic questionnaires were used to assess SDB prevalence and its risk factors. Anthropometric measurements were performed in each subject. Prevalence was calculated for each SDB-related symptom. A regression model was constructed to investigate demographic risk factors of SDB.

Results  A total of 2,147 subjects were included. Mean age (± SD) was 27.2 ± 7.2 years, n = 899 (42%) were men. Habitual snoring was highly prevalent, with an average of 53.8% in men and 38.3% in women. Snoring, witnessed apneas, and daytime somnolence increased continuously with age, with an abnormal SDB questionnaire score detected in 2.5%. Reported sleep duration was 7.61 ± 1.67 hours during weekdays and 8.27 ± 2.11 hours during weekends. Snoring frequency was significantly higher in men than women at nearly all age groups, and an adjusted regression model (OR [95% CI]) identified male sex (2 [1.6-2.5]; P < .001) and BMI (1.08 [1.03-1.12]; P < .001) as independent risk factors for snoring.

Conclusion  The risk of SDB is highly prevalent in younger adults, even in females, and increases with age and BMI. The high prevalence and low awareness justify active screening and treatment of SDB in this population.

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