Quality of life is significantly decreased in adult patients with asthma who are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), results from a Korean study show.
The researchers also found that asthma patients at high risk for OSA were more likely to be older and have a higher body mass index (BMI) than asthma patients at low risk for OSA.
Lead author Sae-Hoon Kim (Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam) and colleagues suggest that "special consideration is needed for the care and treatment of patients with asthma at high risk for OSA, particularly elderly or centrally obese patients."
The team studied 217 asthma patients (mean age 58.4 years) randomly selected from a tertiary-care clinic who were assessed for OSA risk using the Berlin questionnaire. They also completed the quality-of-life questionnaire for adult Korean patients with asthma (QLQAKA) and the asthma control test (ACT).
In total, 89 (41.0%) patients were classified as being at high risk for OSA according to the Berlin questionnaire, with the remaining patients classified as being at low risk for the disorder.
After accounting for age and gender, the researchers found that patients at high risk for OSA had significantly lower QLQAKA scores than low-risk patients (64.4 vs 68.1), particularly in the activity domain.
They also found that the mean age of high-risk patients was significantly higher than that of low-risk patients, at 62.9 versus 55.3 years, as was mean BMI (25.7 vs 23.9 kg/m2), visceral fat area (119.6 vs 94.2 cm2), percent body fat (32.0 vs 26.3%), and the prevalence of hypertension (64.0 vs 18.8%).
In addition, high-risk patients had a significantly longer duration of asthma treatment than low-risk patients (123.9 vs 89.3 days).
However, although high-risk patients were more likely to use an inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β agonist combination than low-risk patients (86.5% vs 75.0%), there were no significant between-group differences regarding ACT scores or lung function.
Kim and team conclude in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: "Our data provide clinical evidence that OSA is an important contributing factor for poor quality of life in adult patients with asthma and that central abdominal obesity may be involved in this association."
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