Obstructive sleep apnea has little impact on quality of life in the elderly

Sleep Med. 2009 Jan;10(1):104-11. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2007.11.009. Epub 2008 Jan 22.


Study objective: To analyze the impact of the number of respiratory sleep disorders or clinically related conditions (especially excessive daytime sleepiness [EDS]), on health related quality of life (HRQoL) in subjects over 65 years of age, as compared to younger subjects and the general population.

Methods: Two hundred and twelve adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA, AHI> or =10) divided into two age groups, over 65 (n=109, mean age 74.6 [6,8] years, and 65 or under (n=103, mean age 51.7, [6,5] years). General, anthropometric and clinical data related to OSA (epworth sleepiness score [ESS]), comorbidities (Charlson comorbidity index [CCI]), HRQoL (SF-36 questionnaire), use of psychotropic medications and habitual polygraphic/polysomnographic parameters were recorded and compared between the two age groups. The HRQoL values in each age group were compared with the values in the general population, adjusted for age and gender.

Results: In patients 65 and under, both the presence of OSA as well as the presence of EDS (ESS>11) were associated with an important deterioration in HRQoL as compared to normal reference values. The principal determinants of HRQoL were the presence of EDS (p<0.04), body mass index (p<0.03) and the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (p<0.04). Nevertheless, in subjects over 65 years of age, the presence of OSA or EDS had only a slight impact on HRQoL, relative to normal values. In this age group, the principal determinants of HRQoL were the presence of comorbidities (CCI, p<0.01), age (p<0.01), oxygen desaturation parameters (p<0.04) and the use of psychotropic medications (p<0.04).

Conclusion: In elders, the presence of OSA with or without EDS has little impact on HRQoL measures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult