Objective: The aim of the
study was to compare the comorbidities and sleep patterns most commonly
associated with each gender in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Methods: This was
a cross-sectional study of obese individuals with OSA. The polysomnographies were carried out
in a sleep laboratory environment, using a 15-channel polysomnography setup.
Airflow was measured using a nasal pressure cannula/thermistor combination. A
standard handbook was used for interpretation of PSG findings. Results: A total
of 284 subjects were included in the study, (147 females). The mean age, body
mass index and neck circumference were similar between females and males (p = 0.9579, p < 0.0001, and p < 0.0001, respectively). On
polysomnography, females exhibited longer latency to REM sleep (146.50 ± 85.93
vs. 122.3 ± 68.28, p = 0.0210) and a higher percentage of delta sleep (10.09 ± 7.48 vs. 7.55 ±
6.57, p = 0.0037); males had more frequent
microarousals (38.37 ± 27.44 vs.
28.07 ± 21.23, p = 0.0017) and a higher AHI score
(30.56 ± 27.52 vs. 17.31 ± 21.23, p < 0.0001). The comorbidities most
commonly associated with female gender were diabetes (29% vs. 9.49%, p = 0.0132), hypothyroidism (20% vs.
2.19%, p < 0.0001), and depression (81.63%
vs. 51.22%, p < 0.0001). Male gender was
associated with myocardial infarction (6.57% vs. 1.38%, p = 0.0245) and alcohol intake (33.88%
vs. 11.34%, p < 0.0001). Obese males with OSA
have a larger neck circumference
and higher AHI and arousal indices than females. Conclusions: There are
genderdifferences both in the sleep patterns and in the comorbidities of
patients with OSA. Men had a larger neck circumference, higher apnea and sleep
fragmentation scores, were more likely to consume alcohol, and were more likely
to have a history of myocardial infarction than women.