WESTCHESTER, Ill. – In a study that examined the relationship between race, menopausal status and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), middle-aged African-American women were found to be more likely to experience OSA symptoms than their Caucasian counterparts, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
Elizabeth Beothy, of the University of Pennsylvania, who authored the study, administered a questionnaire to 269 subjects, with an average age of 48, and 49.4 percent of which were African-American. Further, 37.5 percent of women were pre-menopausal, 43 percent in the menopausal transition and 19.5 percent post-menopausal.
The mean apnea score among African-American women was nearly double that of Caucasian women. Menopausal status was not a significant predictor of OSA symptoms. Race remained a significant predictor of OSA symptoms after adjustment for current body mass index (BMI), BMI change over time and menopausal status.
“Although menopausal status did not predict OSA symptoms, OSA symptoms on our cohort of menopausal women increased with higher BMI and larger BMI increases over time,” said Beothy, who added that studies to document whether OSA is more common among African-American women than Caucasian women should be performed to further investigate these findings.
OSA affects an estimated 15 million to 20 million Americans, as well as millions more who remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Scientific evidence shows that CPAP is the best treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP provides a steady stream of pressurized air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing that characterize OSA and restoring normal oxygen levels.
Persons who think they might be suffering from OSA, or another sleep disorder, are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.
For more information, visit http://www.SleepEducation.com/CPAPCentral, a Web site developed and maintained by the AASM, that provides the public with comprehensive, accurate and reliable information about CPAP. CPAP Central includes expanded information about OSA and CPAP, including how OSA is diagnosed, the function of CPAP, the benefits of CPAP therapy and an overview of what to expect when beginning CPAP therapy; the position of experts on CPAP therapy; and tools for success. CPAP Central also features an interactive slide set that educates the public about the warning signs of OSA.
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.
More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
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