[Prevalence of symptoms of sleep apnea syndrome. Study of a French middle-aged population]

Rev Mal Respir. 2007 Mar;24(3 Pt 1):305-13. doi: 10.1016/s0761-8425(07)91062-1.
[Article in French]


Objective: To study the prevalence of symptoms of sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS) in a large French middle-aged population and to establish what proportion have symptoms that justify further investigation with a sleep study.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 2,195 men and 2,247 women, 33 to 69 year old (DESIR. cohort) recording responses to a self-administered "sleep" questionnaire and a general questionnaire including socio-economic characteristics and lifestyle factors.

Results: The prevalence of symptoms in men and women were respectively: snoring frequently (28%, 14%), frequent daytime sleepiness (14%, 18%) and frequent apnoeas (5%, 2%). Overall, 8.5% of men and 6.3% of women reported a pattern of symptoms suggestive of OSA, as they snored and had daytime sleepiness and/or apnoeas. This pattern was associated, for both sexes, with age, body mass index and after adjustment on these two factors, to a mediocre self-reported health status and treatment with benzodiazepines or other sedatives. For men only, the OSA pattern of symptoms was also associated with, hypertension, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Conclusion: Snoring, daytime hypersomnolence and witnessed apnoeas are symptoms frequently observed in the general population. Subjects with a combination of these abnormalities suggesting a high probability of sleep apnoea syndrome and in whom a sleep study is warranted represent 7.5% of the adult population.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Snoring / epidemiology*
  • Snoring / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires