Prevalence of symptoms and risk of sleep apnea in middle-aged Saudi males in primary care

Saudi Med J. 2008 Mar;29(3):423-6.


Objective: The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea OSA has not been assessed in Saudi Arabia. We aimed to assess the prevalence of individuals who were at risk of OSA in a sample of middle-aged Saudi males, using the Berlin questionnaire at primary care settings.

Methods: The study was conducted at King Khalid University and King Fahd National Guard primary health care clinics in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between December 2005 and March 2006. Berlin Questionnaire was administered by trained medical students to consecutive Saudi male patients in the age group 30-65 years attending the primary health care clinics, after explaining the procedure of the study. Based on the data collected and defined criteria, patients were stratified into high risk and low risk according to responses.

Results: Five hundred and seventy-eight middle-aged Saudi males with a mean age of 45.02 +/- 9.3 year were surveyed in this study. Snoring was present in 52.3%, and breathing pauses more than once per week was noticed in 11.3%. Based on the Berlin questionnaire stratification for risk of OSA, 33.3% were considered as high risk patients for OSA. The occurrence of daytime tiredness >once/week was reported by 35.5%. The prevalence of snoring and risk for OSA is similar to that reported in the US.

Conclusion: In primary care setting, one in 3 middle-aged Saudi males is at risk for OSA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires