Obstructive sleep apnea: a stand-alone risk factor for chronic kidney disease

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2011 Jul;26(7):2244-50. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfq821. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Background: Previous studies have found an association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, subjects with confounding factors such as diabetes and hypertension were not excluded. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether patients with OSA without meeting criteria for diabetes or hypertension would also show increased likelihood of CKD.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled adult patients with a chief complaint of habitual snoring. Overnight polysomnography, fasting blood triglyceride, cholesterol, glucose, insulin, creatinine, albumin and hemoglobin A1c, and first voiding urine albumin and creatinine were examined. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR), homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance and percentage of CKD were calculated.

Results: The final analyses involved 40 patients who were middle-aged [44.8 (8.6) years] predominantly male (83%), obese [body mass index, 28.2 (5.1) kg/m(2)] and more severe OSA, with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 51.6 (39.2)/h. The mean eGFR and UACR were 85.4 (18.3) mL/min/1.73m(2) and 13.4 (23.4) mg/g, respectively. The prevalence of CKD in severe OSA subjects is 18%. With stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis, AHI and desaturation index were the only independent predictor of UACR (β = 0.26, P = 0.01, R(2) = 0.17) and eGFR (β = 0.32, P < 0.01, R(2) = 0.32), respectively.

Conclusions: High prevalence of CKD is present in severe OSA patients without hypertension or diabetes. Significantly positive correlations were found between severity of OSA and renal function impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Albuminuria
  • Body Mass Index
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Creatinine