Sleep apnea and the risk of chronic kidney disease: a nationwide population-based cohort study

Sleep. 2015 Feb 1;38(2):213-21. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4400.


Study objectives: Sleep apnea (SA) is characterized by apnea during sleep and is associated with cardiovascular diseases and an increase in all-cause mortality. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global health problem that has placed a substantial burden on healthcare resources. However, the relationship between SA and the incidence of CKD is not clear. This study aimed to determine whether SA is an independent risk factor for the development of CKD.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan.

Patients or participants: A total of 4,674 adult patients (age ≥ 30 y) in whom SA was newly diagnosed from 2000 to 2010 were included, together with 23,370 non-SA patients as the comparison group. The two groups were frequency-matched for sex, age, and year of receiving medical service. Each individual was followed until 2011.

Interventions: N/A.

Measurements and results: These two groups were monitored and observed for the occurrence of CKD. Patients with SA experienced a 1.94-fold increase (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-2.46; P < 0.001) in the incidence of CKD, which was independent of sex, age, and comorbid medical conditions. Additionally, they showed a 2.2-fold increase (95% CI, 1.31-3.69; P < 0.01) in the incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Conclusions: Patients with sleep apnea are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease compared with the general population. As such, screening renal function and treatment of chronic kidney disease is an important issue in patients with sleep apnea.

Keywords: National Health Insurance; chronic kidney disease; cohort study; end-stage renal disease; sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Taiwan / epidemiology