Aims: The aim of this study was to clarify the association between obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS)-related symptoms and physician-diagnosed asthma and COPD.
Methods: 1501 subjects aged 19-90 years completed a structured questionnaire and underwent spirometry and respiratory physician assessment in 10 primary care centres.
Results: Frequent snoring was reported in 45.6%, breathing pauses during sleep in 11.0%, and excessive daytime sleepiness in 6.7% of the sample. COPD patients were more likely to report frequent snoring (OR=1.34; 95% CI:1.04-1.71), breathing pauses (OR=1.46; 95% CI:1.01-2.10), and excessive daytime sleepiness (OR=2.04; 95% CI:1.33-3.14). In contrast, there was no significant association between asthma patients and OSAHS-related symptoms. Gender differences were recognised as well.
Conclusions: The increased likelihood for OSAHS-related symptoms in COPD patients, in contrast to patients with asthma, designates them as a target group for the screening of OSAHS in primary care.