Study objective: To evaluate the possible role of low socioeconomic status (SES) as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients requiring treatment.
Design: Polysomnographic and demographic characteristics and associated morbidity were measured in 686 prospectively recruited adult OSAS patients from two regions in Israel.
Setting: Two university-affiliated sleep laboratories.
Measurements and results: The multiple logistic regression (after adjusting for gender, body mass index [BMI], and smoking) revealed that the following are independent determinants for CVD in OSAS patients requiring treatment: each decrease in income level category (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 1.7), age > or = 1 year (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.1), hypertension (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.1), and hyperlipidemia (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.4 to 5.8); area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) = 81.9%. The multivariate determinants describing the low-SES OSAS patients included: minorities and immigrants combined (OR, 6.0; 95% CI, 2.9 to 12), female gender (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.6 to 3.9), increased BMI (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.9), unmarried status (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.1), and years of education (> or = 1 year) [OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7 to 0.8]; area under the ROC = 78.1%.
Conclusion: In addition to the already known traditional risk factors, low SES was found to be a novel independent risk factor for CVD among adult OSAS patients requiring treatment.