Naricha Chirakalwasan, M.D.; Busarakum Teerapraipruk, M.D.; Rosalind Simon, M.D.; Prakobkiat Hirunwiwatkul, M.D.; Nattapong Jaimchariyatam, M.D.; Tayard Desudchit, M.D.; Natamon Charakorn, M.D.; Chaisiri Wanlapakorn, M.D.

Introduction: Unlike Caucasians, many Asians with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are non-obese but are affected by the disease due to predisposing craniofacial structure. Therefore, non-obese and obese OSA may represent different disease entities. The associated risk factors for developing cardiovascular-related diseases, consequently, may be considered separately for the two types of OSA.

Method: We reviewed polysomnographic studies performed in adults (aged ≥ 18 years) diagnosed with OSA (respiratory disturbance index [RDI] ≥ 5). We divided the patients into obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25) and non-obese (BMI < 25) groups. We aimed to determine the differences between these two groups in terms of clinical presentations, polysomnographic f ndings, and association with cardiovascular-related diseases including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, and/or cerebrovascular disease.

Results: Among 194 patients with OSA (RDI ≥ 5), 63.4% were non-obese and 36.6% were obese. Compared with obese OSA patients, non-obese OSA patients were noted to have smaller neck size, less prevalence of hypertension, and less history of frequent nocturia (> 3-4/week), with equal prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness. Overall, non-obese OSA patients were noted to have milder disease indicated by lower total, supine, and non-supine, NREM RDI and higher mean and nadir oxygen saturations. In the non-obese group, only total obstructive apnea index (OAI) was noted to be a predictor for developing any of the cardiovascular-related diseases after controlling for age, sex, and RDI (odds ratio = 9.7). However, in the obese OSA group, frequent snoring (> 50% of total sleep time), low sleep eff ciency (≤ 90%), and low mean oxygen saturation (< 95%) were noted to be signif cant predictors of cardiovascular-related diseases (odds ratios = 12.3, 4.2, and 5.2, respectively).

Conclusion: Among Asians, most OSA patients were not obese. Compared to obese OSA patients, non-obese OSA patients were noted to have less prevalence of hypertension and less history of nocturia. They were also noted to have overall milder OSA. Only OAI was noted to be a signif cant predictor for cardiovascular-related disease in the non-obese OSA group. 

keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea, obesity

Citation: Chirakalwasan N; Teerapraipruk B; Simon R; Hirunwiwatkul P; Jaimchariyatam N; Desudchit T; Charakorn N; Wanlapakorn C. Comparison of polysomnographic and clinical presentations and predictors for cardiovascular-related diseases between non-obese and obese obstructive sleep apnea among Asians. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(6):553-557.