Gender difference in snoring and how it changes with age: systematic review and meta-regression

Sleep Breath. 2012 Dec;16(4):977-86. doi: 10.1007/s11325-011-0596-8. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to study the interactions among age, gender, and snoring across all age groups

Methods: All cross-sectional study reporting gender-specific prevalence of snoring in general population published from 1966 through July 2008 were included and were meta-analyzed. The sources of heterogeneity among primary studies were studied by meta-regression.

Results: From a total of 1,593 citations reviewed, 63 were included in the analysis of snoring. These 63 studies were comprised 104,337 and 110,474, respectively. A combined odds ratio of 1.89 with a 95% confidence interval of 1.75-2.03 for male versus female was found. The heterogeneity was significant with an estimated between-study variance, τ (2) being 0.065 and 95% confidence interval of 0.0397-0.0941. Multiple meta-regression showed that age were the significant effect modifier of the relationship between snoring and gender.

Conclusion: This study found a consistent male predominance in snoring among the general population, and the heterogeneity in the risk of snoring between two genders can be partly explained by age.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors
  • Snoring / diagnosis
  • Snoring / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult