Obstructive sleep apnea among adults in Nigeria

J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Jul;101(7):720-5. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)30983-4.


Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common medical condition with significant adverse medical and public health consequences, but OSAS remains undiagnosed in many individuals. The Berlin questionnaire is a validated instrument that is used to identify individuals who are at risk for OSAS.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of high risk of OSAS in an adult population in Nigeria.

Design: A cross-sectional survey was done of 370 young adults and adults living in Abuja, Nigeria, using the Berlin questionnaire. This instrument includes questions about snoring; witnessed apneas, self-reported hypertension, and daytime sleepiness. Data were collected on sociodemographic characteristics. Excessive daytime sleepiness was determined using Epworth Sleepiness scale. Body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure were calculated and measured, respectively.

Results: Of the 370 respondents, 218 (59%) were females. The overall prevalence of snoring was 31%. Overall, 19% of participants (22% of men and 16% of women) met the Berlin questionnaire criteria indicating a high risk of OSAS. The highest prevalence of risk of OSAS occurred in ages 50 to 59 years for male. Respondents with a high risk for OSAS were more likely to be obese (BMI >30 kg/m2), have a higher mean ESS score, and a chronic medical condition than those who were at lower risk.

Conclusions: OSAS may be more common a medical problem than ever imagined among Nigerians.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires