BACKGROUND: Snoring is a common symptom among workers with adverse health effects from their World Trade Center (WTC) occupational exposures. Rhinitis and upper airway disease are highly prevalent among these workers. Rhinitis has been associated with snoring and, in some studies, with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We examined the association of WTC exposure and findings on nocturnal polysomnogram, as well as known predictors of OSA in this patient population. METHODS: One hundred participants with snoring underwent a polysomnogram to exclude OSA. Comorbidities had been previously evaluated and treated. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) defined and categorized the severity of OSA. Age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and WTC exposure variables were examined in bivariate and multiple regression analyses. RESULTS: Our study sample had a similar prevalence of five major disease categories, as we previously reported. OSA was diagnosed in 62% of the patients and was not associated with any of those disease categories. A trend toward increasing AHI with increasing WTC exposure duration failed to reach the statistical significance (P = 0.14) in multiple regression analysis. An elevated AHI was associated with BMI (P = 0.003) and male sex (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: OSA was associated with BMI and male sex but not with occupational WTC exposure indicators in this patient population.
Exposure assessment; Inhalation studies; Pulmonary system; Respiratory function tests; Respiratory hypersensitivity; Statistical analysis; Weight factors; World Trade Center; WTC
Rafael E. de la Hoz, MD, MPH, Mount Sinai WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1059, New York, NY 10029
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