Lung Structure and Risk of Sleep Apnea in SPIROMICS

Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2024 Jan 25;11(1):26-36. doi: 10.15326/jcopdf.2023.0411.


Rationale: The SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS) is a prospective cohort study that enrolled 2981 participants with the goal of identifying new chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) subgroups and intermediate markers of disease progression. Individuals with COPD and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience impaired quality of life and more frequent exacerbations. COPD severity also associates with computed tomography scan-based emphysema and alterations in airway dimensions.

Objectives: The objective was to determine whether the combination of lung function and structure influences the risk of OSA among current and former smokers.

Methods: Using 2 OSA risk scores, the Berlin Sleep Questionnaire (BSQ), and the DOISNORE50 (Diseases, Observed apnea, Insomnia, Snoring, Neck circumference > 18 inches, Obesity with body mass index [BMI] > 32, R = are you male, Excessive daytime sleepiness, 50 = age ≥ 50) (DIS), 1767 current and former smokers were evaluated for an association of lung structure and function with OSA risk.

Measurements and main results: The study cohort's mean age was 63 years, BMI was 28 kg/m2, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was 74.8% predicted. The majority were male (55%), White (77%), former smokers (59%), and had COPD (63%). A high-risk OSA score was reported in 36% and 61% using DIS and BSQ respectively. There was a 9% increased odds of a high-risk DIS score (odds ratio [OR]=1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.03-1.14) and nominally increased odds of a high-risk BSQ score for every 10% decrease in FEV1 %predicted (OR=1.04, 95%CI: 0.998-1.09). Lung function-OSA risk associations persisted after additionally adjusting for lung structure measurements (%emphysema, %air trapping, parametric response mapping for functional small airways disease, , mean segmental wall area, tracheal %wall area, dysanapsis) for DIS (OR=1.12, 95%CI:1.03-1.22) and BSQ (OR=1.09, 95%CI:1.01-1.18).

Conclusions: Lower lung function independently associates with having high risk for OSA in current and former smokers. Lung structural elements, especially dysanapsis, functional small airways disease, and tracheal %wall area strengthened the effects on OSA risk.

Keywords: COPD; CT-scan measurements; DOISNORE50; lung function.