Study objectives: to estimate the prevalence of the most common sleep related symptoms (SRS) in the metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Montevideo (Uruguay), Santiago (Chile), and Caracas (Venezuela).
Methods: The study consisted of a multistage cluster sampling of adults aged > or = 40 years living in metropolitan areas. All participants completed a questionnaire on sleep related symptoms. Simplified respiratory polygraphy during sleep was conducted on 188 subjects from Mexico City. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome was defined as Epworth Sleepiness Scale score > or = 11 and respiratory disturbance index (RDI) > or = 15 events/h; a cut-off of 15 was chosen because of its high sensitivity and specificity in association with the portable monitor used in the study.
Results: The study included 4,533 subjects (1,062 in Mexico City, 941 in Montevideo, 1,173 in Santiago, and 1,357 in Caracas). Snoring was reported by 60.2% (95% CI 58.8% to 61.6%), excessive daytime sleepiness by 16.4% (15.3% to 17.5%), observed apneas by 12.3% (11.4% to 13.3%), insomnia by 34.7% (33.3% to 36%), sedative use by 15.1% (14.1% to 16.2%), daytime napping by 29.2% (27.7% to 30.6%), and a combination of snoring, sleepiness, and observed apneas by 3.4% (2.9% to 4%). Men had a higher frequency of snoring and daytime napping, whereas women reported more insomnia and sedative use. Prevalence of OSAS varied from 2.9% among subjects who denied snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and observed apneas, to 23.5% among those reporting these 3 symptoms.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of sleep related symptoms and undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea in Latin America was observed.