Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: a comparison between Far-East Asian and white men

Laryngoscope. 2000 Oct;110(10 Pt 1):1689-93. doi: 10.1097/00005537-200010000-00022.


Objectives: To investigate the possible differences between Far-East Asian men and white men in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

Study design: Prospective nonrandomized controlled study.

Methods: This study compared consecutive Far-East Asian men with OSAS (n = 50) with two selected groups of White men with OSAS (n = 50 in each group). One group of white men was controlled for age, respiratory disturbance index (RDI), and minimum oxygenation saturation (LSAT). Another group was controlled for age and body mass index (BMI). Cephalometric analysis was performed on all subjects.

Results: The majority of the Far-East Asian men were found to be nonobese (mean BMI, 26.7 +/- 3.8) but had severe OSAS (mean RDI, 55.1 +/- 35.1). When controlled for age, RDI, and LSAT, the white men were substantially more obese (mean BMI, 29.7 +/- 5.8, P = .0055). When controlled for age and BMI, the white men had less severe illness (RDI, 34.1 +/- 17.9, P = .0001). Although the posterior airway space and the distance from the mandibular plane to hyoid bone were less abnormal in the Far-East Asian men, the cranial base dimensions were significantly decreased.

Conclusions: The majority of the Far-East Asian men in this study were found to be nonobese, despite the presence of severe OSAS. When compared with white men, Far-East Asian men were less obese but had greater severity of OSAS. There may be differences in obesity and craniofacial anatomy as risk factors in these two groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Asia, Eastern / ethnology
  • Asian People*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cephalometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration Disorders / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • White People*