Co-morbid Illnesses Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

woken upObstructive sleep apnoea is a silent killer. This medical problem, characterised by repetitive air flow constraint or cessation due to airway collapse, can present itself as snoring or as serious cardiac and pulmonary complications. A lot of studies have attributed obstructive sleep apnoea to the occurrence of other illnesses such as congenital diseases, upper airway pathologies, cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, gastrointestinal system diseases, endocrine diseases, collagen tissue diseases, and neuropsychiatric diseases. Risk factors may also serve as complications as in the case of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarct, and congestive cardiac failure.

A recent study published on the ScientificWorldJournal April 2013 issue evaluated the associations of obstructive sleep apnoea and co-morbid diseases in patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea and simple snoring. This information was presented to the Sleep Disorders Centre of the Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital. Demographics of the patients, body mass index (BMI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) scores, polysomnography (PSG) parameters, physical examination findings, and patients' responses to some questions specifically prepared for this group of patients, as well as the associations of OSAS and cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and neuropsychiatric diseases, and cigarette smoking were analysed.

The said study was conducted in the Otorhinolaryngology Department of the Ankara Numune Hospital between April 2008 and April 2010 with 130 patients who presented with the complaints of snoring, witnessed apnoea, and daytime drowsiness. The presence of chronic disease was compared to the demographics, BMIs, Epworth Scale scores, polysomnography, and physical examination findings.

It was found out that co-morbid diseases were present in 56 (or 43.1%) of the patients, and the most presented disease group was cardiovascular system diseases. Age, BMI, daytime drowsiness, and frequency of septum deviation were observed at higher rates in patients with chronic disease. Age, BMI, and frequency of septum deviation were also found out to be associated with cardiovascular diseases. Endocrine disease was found to increase with decreased oxygen saturation. Neuropsychiatric diseases were also found out to be associated with daytime drowsiness and age.

In this study, the authors found out that obstructive sleep apnoea may bring about impaired glucose tolerance, metabolic disorders, and dyslipidemia. The authors also noted 10% (13 patients) of the sleep apnoea cases had neuropsychiatric diseases and the incidence of neuropsychiatric diseases was higher in patients with daytime drowsiness.

The authors also found out that cigarette smoking results in an earlier onset age of obstructive sleep apnoea, thus contributing indirectly to the morbidity of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Frequency of the co-morbidities mostly increased with age as expected. Co-morbid diseases were also associated with obesity and daytime drowsiness. Cigarette smoking was associated with early-age disease.

Thus the said findings say that indeed obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring are associated with a lot of co-morbid illnesses.


Hızlı Ö, Özcan M, Ünal A.Evaluation of co morbidities in patients with OSAS and simple snoring. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Apr 18; 2013:709292

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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.