Occult sleep apnea in a recruited sample of older adults with insomnia

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Jun;67(3):405-10. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.67.3.405.


Although costly polysomnography (PSG) is not routinely performed with people with insomnia, it may be more necessary with recruited older adults with insomnia because this population may pose a greater risk of veiled sleep disorders compared with younger age groups and with referred samples. The present PSG screening of a recruited sample of older adults with insomnia found a 29%-43% rate of undiagnosed sleep apnea (SA), depending on whether an apnea-hypopnea index of 15 or 5 was used, after interviews had already screened out obvious cases of SA. Also, PSGs revealed a 4% rate of occult periodic limb movements. A discriminant analysis identified overweight men reporting dry mouth at highest risk for occult SA, with an apnea-versus-insomnia classification success rate of 78%. Using PSG evaluations in research on insomnia in recruited older adults is requisite to preclude substantial representation of occult SA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*