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Obstructive sleep apnea in loudly snoring army conscripts.
Mil Med 2007;172(8):879-81.

Department of Neurology, Research Institute of Military Medicine, Tukholmankatu 8A, FIN-00290 Helsinki, Finland

One of the hallmarks of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud snoring. Army conscripts sleep in barracks, and loud snorers are easily detected. We made polygraphic recordings from these snorers during one night spent in the hospital, to find the ones suffering from OSA. Forty-nine conscripts (all male; mean age, 21 2 years; body mass index, 25 3 kg/m2) were studied; 32 (65%) complained about daytime sleepiness, and one had caused a shipwreck during an episode of fatigue. Oxygen levels decreased 4 to 9% >20 times per hour (4-9% oxygen desaturation index [ODI4] of >20 hours) for three subjects (6%). Eleven additional subjects (22%) had ODI4 values of >10 hours. Four (8%) of them did not complain about daytime sleepiness. The mean apnea index (AI) was 11 13 hours; 20 patients (41%) had AI values exceeding 10 hours. ODI4 and AI were significantly correlated (r = 0.67; p < 0.001). Body mass index did not correlate significantly with ODI4 or apnea index. Approximately one-fifth of loudly snoring conscripts suffer from OSA. Loud snorers should be examined before being selected for duties requiring maintenance of high alertness.

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