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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. The estimated prevalence in UAE is approximately 23 percent in males and 19.5 percent in females, and this increases with overweight and obesity: out of the people with body Mass Index higher than 30 kg/m2, 70% were at high risk of Sleep Apnea.

Symptoms of potential sleep disorders include:

  • wake-time sleepiness
  • Loud or irregular snoring
  • Constant drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Morning headache, sore throat or mouth dryness
  • Loss of energy or fatigue,
  • Poor concentration.

Risk factors for suffer Sleep Apnea are

  • advancing age,
  • male gender,
  • obesity,
  • Abnormal morphology of face, head, mouth or Throat/neck
  • Additional factors may include
    • smoking
    • nasal congestion
    • menopause
    • family history.
  • Rates of Sleep Apnea are also increased in association with certain medical conditions:
    • end-stage renal disease,
    • congestive heart failure
    • chronic lung disease
    • stroke

 Lifestyle related health problems as a direct consequence of obesity and Sleep Apnea Syndrome:

  • Cardiovascular Disease and hypertension (HTN): Around 70% of the deaths in UAE are caused by cardiovascular disease with significant contribution from obesity and Sleep Apnea Syndrome.
  • Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Road Traffic Accidents: up to 20% of road traffic accidents are sleep-related with over 1000 road traffic deaths a year in UAE, and over 6300 road traffic deaths in Saudi Arabia (2007 police data). Motor vehicle crashes are two to three times more common among patients with Sleep Apnea than without Sleep Apnea
  • Perioperative complications: Patients with Sleep Apnea may be at greater risk for perioperative complications such as postoperative oxygen desaturation, acute respiratory failure, postoperative cardiac events, and intensive care unit transfers.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD): Sleep Apnea may contribute to the development and severity of Non-alcoholic fatty liver
  • Chronic onset of Pulmonary Hypertension and Chronic respiratory failure.
  • Impaired Daytime function, cognition, psychiatric and Economic Burden
  • Mortality: untreated severe Sleep Apnea have a two- to threefold increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with individuals without Sleep Apnea

When should I visit my Sleep respiratory Medicine doctor?

The STOP-Bang questionnaire was specifically developed to meet the need for a reliable, concise, and easy-to-use screening tool for Sleep Apnea.

STOP-Bang Questionnaire



Do you Snore Loudly (loud enough to be heard through closed doors or your bed-partner elbows you for snoring at night)?


Do you often feel Tired, Fatigued, or Sleepy during the daytime (such as falling asleep during driving or talking to someone)?


Has anyone Observed you Stop Breathing or Choking/Gasping during your sleep?


Do you have or are being treated for High Blood Pressure?


Body Mass Index more than 35 kg/m2?


older than 50 year old?


Neck size large? (Measured around Adams apple)
For male: Is your shirt collar 17 inches/43 cm or larger? For female: Is your shirt collar 16 inches/41 cm or larger?



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