Background: Various models and questionnaires have been developed for screening specific populations for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as defined by the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI); however, almost every method is based upon dichotomizing a population, and none function ideally. We evaluated the possibility of using the STOP-Bang model (SBM) to classify severity of OSA into 4 categories ranging from none to severe.
Methods: Anthropomorphic data and the presence of snoring, tiredness/sleepiness, observed apneas, and hypertension were collected from 1426 patients who underwent diagnostic polysomnography. Questionnaire data for each patient was converted to the STOP-Bang equivalent with an ordinal rating of 0 to 8. Proportional odds logistic regression analysis was conducted to predict severity of sleep apnea based upon the AHI: none (AHI < 5/h), mild (AHI ≥ 5 to < 15/h), moderate (≥ 15 to < 30/h), and severe (AHI ≥ 30/h).
Results: Linear, curvilinear, and weighted models (R(2) = 0.245, 0.251, and 0.269, respectively) were developed that predicted AHI severity. The linear model showed a progressive increase in the probability of severe (4.4% to 81.9%) and progressive decrease in the probability of none (52.5% to 1.1%). The probability of mild or moderate OSA initially increased from 32.9% and 10.3% respectively (SBM score 0) to 39.3% (SBM score 2) and 31.8% (SBM score 4), after which there was a progressive decrease in probabilities as more patients fell into the severe category.
Conclusions: The STOP-Bang model may be useful to categorize OSA severity, triage patients for diagnostic evaluation or exclude from harm.
Keywords: Berlin Questionnaire; STOP-Bang model; obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; polysomnography; proportional odds logistic regression; screening questionnaire.