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Gender Differences in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Value of Sleep Questionnaires with a Separate Analysis of Cardiovascular Patients

  • pataka, athanasia
  • kotoulas, seraphim
  • kalamaras, george
  • schiza, sofia
  • sapalidis, konstantinos
  • giannakidis, dimitirios
  • michalopoulos, nikolaos
  • koulouris, charilaos
  • aidoni, zoi
  • amaniti, aikaterini
  • bouloukaki, izoldi
  • chatzopoulos, evangelos
  • romanidis, konstantinos
  • oikonomou, panagoula
  • steiropoulos, paschalis
  • trakada, georgia
  • vagionas, anastasios
  • ioannidis, aris
  • katsios, iason nikolaos
  • goganau, alexandru marian
  • And 2 more
Publication Date
Jan 03, 2020
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Background: Gender affects the clinical presentation of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The classic OSA symptoms, such as sleepiness, snoring, and apnea, are not so frequent in women. Objectives: To evaluate possible gender differences in questionnaires used for OSA prediction, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), STOP, STOP Bang (SB), Berlin Questionnaire (BQ), Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), and Fatigue Scale (FS). Methods: 350 males were matched with 350 women referred to a sleep clinic, according to OSA severity. All responded to the questionnaires and underwent a sleep study. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients were separately analyzed. Results: ESS did not differ between genders. SB was higher in males, whereas STOP, BQ, AIS, and FS were higher in females. BQ presented the highest sensitivity in both genders, whereas STOP exhibited the highest specificity in males and ESS in females. AIS and FS were more sensitive and SB more specific in females, whereas BQ was more specific in males. For severe OSA, the predictive values of SB and BQ were almost similar for both genders / however AIS and FS were higher in women. CVD patients presented higher scores, independent of gender, except for AIS, which was higher in females. Conclusion: Gender-specific evaluation of questionnaires is necessary to prevent OSA under-diagnosis.

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