Objectives: To assess the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and predictors of obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) in a large sample of Saudi patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Methods: This prospective observational study consisted of 1693 patients who were diagnosed to have sleep-disordered breathing using type I attended polysomnography (PSG) between January 2002 and December 2012 in the University Sleep Disorders Center (USDC) at King Saud University Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Results: Out of 1693 OSA patients, OHS was identified in 144 (8.5%) (women 66.7%). Compared with the pure OSA patients, the OHS patients were significantly older (57.4±13.4 years versus 46.8±13.7 years), had a higher body mass index (44.6±10.8 versus 35.7±9.2 kg/m²), a higher daytime partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) (56.5±12.7 versus 41.6±6.7 mmHg), a longer duration of nocturnal oxygen saturation (nSaO2) <90% (71.0±34.3 versus 10.5±20.5 minutes), and a higher apnea hypopnea index (68.2±47.1 versus 46.5±34.1 events/hour). A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that serum bicarbonate (odds ratio [OR]=1.17, p=0.0001, confidence interval [CI]=1.10-1.25), and duration of nSaO2 <90% (OR=1.05, p=0.0001, CI=1.04-1.06) were predictors of OHS.
Conclusion: Obesity hypoventilation syndrome is common among Saudi OSA patients referred to the Sleep Disorders Center. Serum bicarbonate and duration of nSaO2 <90% are independent predictors of OHS among patients with OSA.