Sleep apnea and obstructive airway disease in older men: Outcomes of sleep disorders in older men study

Ying Y. Zhao, Terri Blackwell, Kristine E. Ensrud, Katie L. Stone, Theodore A. Omachi, Susan Redline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To evaluate the association between obstructive airway disease (OAD) and sleep apnea in older men. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study of 853 community-dwelling older men (mean age 80.7 ± 4.1 years [range 73 to 90]) across 6 centers in the United States from the Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men Study.Sleep was objectively measured using full in-home polysomnography and lung function was objectively measured using spirometry. The association of OAD (pre-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio < 0.7 and FEV1 < 80% predicted) and sleep apnea (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] ≥ 15 events/hour) was assessed using logistic regression. Results: OAD and sleep apnea were identified in 111 (13.0%) and 247 (29.0%) men, respectively. In univariate analysis, participants with OAD had a lower AHI (mean ± SD; 8.7 ± 11.7 vs. 12.7 ± 13.8, P = 0.0009) and a lower prevalence of sleep apnea (14.4 vs. 31.1%, P = 0.0003) compared to participants without OAD. OAD remained independently associated with a lower odds of sleep apnea (odds ratio 0.30, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.55, P = 0.0001) after adjustment for demographics, body composition, smoking, and potential mediators (arousal index, time spent in rapid eye movement sleep). Individuals with OAD and sleep apnea (n = 16) had an increased arousal index and lower oxygen saturation level as compared to individuals with OAD alone (P values < 0.05). Conclusions: Obstructive airway disease was associated with a lower prevalence of sleep apnea in a cohort of community-dwelling elderly men, and unexplained by differences in adiposity or sleep architecture. Although uncommon in this cohort, coexisting sleep apnea and OAD was associated with increased sleep fragmentation and nocturnal oxygen desaturation compared to OAD alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1351
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This was not an industry sponsored study. The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AG027810, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042139, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042143, U01 AG042145, U01 AG042168, U01 AR066160, and UL1 TR000128. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides funding for the MrOS Sleep ancillary study "Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men" under the following grant numbers: R01 HL071194, R01 HL070848, R01 HL070847, R01 HL070842, R01 HL070841, R01 HL070837, R01 HL070838, and R01 HL070839. Drs. Redline is the site PI for a phase III trial sponsored by Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Omachi is currently an employee of Genentech. The other authors have indicated no financial conflicts of interest.


  • Aging
  • Obstructive airway disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Overlap syndrome
  • Sleep quality


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