The high dependency of supine position in obstructive sleep apnea

Saudi Med J. 2013 Feb;34(2):147-52.


Objective: To define the frequency of supine positional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients diagnosed with OSA and to describe the demographic associations with positional OSA (PO).

Methods: A retrospective study was performed in a total of 3813 patients who underwent full-night polysomnography at the Sleep Disorders Center of the Ataturk Chest Diseases, Thoracic Surgery Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey between June 2007 and June 2010. A total of 3214 patients diagnosed with OSA were included in the study. Positional OSA was defined as a total AHI more than or equal to 5, and supine AHI/non-supine AHI more than or equal to 2. Characteristics of positional OSA and non-positional OSA groups were compared statistically.

Results: Patients classified as positional OSA composed 39.9% of all OSA patients. Positional OSA patients were younger with lower body mass index and their OSA was less severe.

Conclusion: Positional OSA, which may require different treatment approaches, is not uncommon among OSA patients and should be understood as a different clinical entity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Supine Position*