Study objectives: Sleep problems are often undetected in adults with Down syndrome (DS). Our objective was to determine the prevalence of sleep disorders in adults with DS through self-reported and objective sleep measures.
Methods: We performed a community-based cross-sectional study of 54 adults with DS not referred for sleep disorders. Two polysomnography (PSG) sleep studies were performed. Sleep quality was evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); daytime sleepiness was evaluated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and the risk for the sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) was identified using the Berlin Questionnaire (BQ). Participants' sleep/wake pattern was assessed from sleep diaries and by wrist actigraphy. PSQI, ESS, and PSG measures were compared with 35 sex-, age-, and body mass index-matched patients in the control groups.
Results: In PSG measures, adults with DS showed lower sleep efficiency (69 ± 17.7 versus 81.6 ± 11; P < .001), less rapid eye movement sleep (9.4 ± 5.8 versus 19.4 ± 5.1; P < .001), a higher prevalence of OSA (78% versus 14%; P < .001), and a higher apnea-hypopnea index (23.5 ± 24.5 versus 3.8 ± 10.5; P < .001) than patients in the control group. In the DS group, the questionnaires (mean PSQI 3.7 ± 2.9; mean ESS 6.3 ± 4.5 and mean BQ 1 ± 0) did not reflect the sleep disturbances detected on the PSG. Actigraphy data recorded daytime sleep that was not self-reported (118.2 ± 104.2 minutes).
Conclusions: Adults with DS show severe sleep disruption and a high prevalence of OSA, undetected by self-reported sleep measures. Actigraphy, PSG, and validated simplified devices for screening OSA should be routinely recommended for this population because treatment of sleep disorders can contribute to healthy aging.
Keywords: Down syndrome; actigraphy; aging; obstructive sleep apnea; polysomnography; self-reported sleep quality; sleep disruption.
© 2018 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.