Objectives: To evaluate study failure and sensor loss in unattended home polysomnography and their relationship to age, gender, obesity, and severity of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB).
Design: A cross-sectional analysis of data gathered prospectively for the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS).
Setting: Unattended polysomnography was performed in participants' homes by the staff of the sites that are involved in SHHS.
Participants: 6,802 individuals who met the inclusion criteria (age >40 years, no history of treatment of sleep apnea, no tracheostomy, no current home oxygen therapy) for SHHS.
Results: A total of 6802 participants had 7151 studies performed. 6161 of 6802 initial studies (90.6%) were acceptable. Obesity was associated with a decreased likelihood of a successful initial study. After one or more attempts, 6440 participants (94.7%) had studies that were judged as acceptable. The mean duration of scorable signals for specific channels ranged from 5.7 to 6.8 hours. The magnitudes of the effects of age, gender, BMI, and RDI on specific signal durations were not clinically significant.
Conclusion: Unattended home PSG as performed for SHHS was usually successful. Participant characteristics had very weak associations with duration of scorable signal. This study suggests that unattended home PSG, when performed with proper protocols and quality controls, has reasonable success rates and signal quality for the evaluation of SDB in clinical and research settings.