Sex Differences in the Association Between Smoking and Sleep-Disordered Breathing in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Chest. 2019 Nov;156(5):944-953. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.04.106. Epub 2019 May 16.


Background: Results of previous studies examining associations between cigarette smoking and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) are inconsistent. We therefore investigated this association in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).

Methods: A total of 13,863 US Hispanic/Latino subjects, 18 to 76 years old, provided smoking histories and underwent home SDB testing. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the independent association of smoking and SDB with covariate adjustment. Sex- and age-stratified analyses were performed.

Results: The weighted prevalence of moderate to severe SDB was 9.7% (95% CI, 9.0-10.5). No independent and statistically significant association was observed between ever smoking (defined as minimum lifetime cigarette use of 100) and moderate to severe SDB (defined as an apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15 events per hour) (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.85-1.22; P = .85). Sex and age were effect modifiers of the aforementioned association. Stratification according to age and sex revealed that younger (aged 35-54 years) female smokers had 83% higher odds of SDB compared with younger female never smokers (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.19-2.81; P = .01). A significant dose-response relation was noted between smoking intensity and SDB in younger female smokers (P < .01). Lastly, use of ≥ 10 cigarettes per day was associated with a nearly threefold increase in SDB odds in younger female ever smokers. These associations were not observed in younger male subjects.

Conclusions: In the HCHS/SOL, no independent and statistically significant association was found between smoking and SDB. Sex and age stratification revealed a novel statistically significant association between smoking and SDB in younger (35-54 years old) female smokers. Our findings highlight the importance of investigating sex- and age-specific associations of SDB risk factors.

Keywords: Hispanic/Latino; sleep-disordered breathing; smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult