Risk of sleep apnea in hospitalized older patients

Talia C. Shear, Jay S. Balachandran, Babak Mokhlesi, Lisa M. Spampinato, Kristen L. Knutson, David O. Meltzer, Vineet M. Arora*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives: To assess the prevalence of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among general medical inpatients and to investigate whether OSA risk is associated with in-hospital sleep quantity and quality.Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: General medicine ward in academic medical centerParticipants: 424 hospitalized adult patients ≥ 50 years old without a sleep disorder diagnosis (mean age 65 years, 57% female, 72% African American). Main Measures: The Berlin questionnaire, a validated screen for determining risk of OSA, was administered to hospitalized medical patients. Sleep duration and efficiency were measured via wrist actigraphy. Self-reported sleep quality was evaluated using Karolinska Sleep Quality Index (KSQI). Key Results: Two of every 5 inpatients ≥ 50 years old (39.5%, n = 168) were found to be at high risk for OSA. Mean in-hospital sleep duration was ∼ 5 h and mean sleep efficiency was 70%. Using random effects linear regression models, we found that patients who screened at high risk for OSA obtained ∼ 40 min less sleep per night (-39.6 min [-66.5, -12.8], p = 0.004). These findings remained significant after controlling for African American race, sex, and age quartiles. In similar models, those patients who screened at high risk had ∼ 5.5% less sleep efficiency per night (-5.50 [-9.96, -1.05], p = 0.015). In multivariate analysis, patients at high risk for OSA also had lower self-reported sleep quality on KSQI (-0.101 [-0.164, -0.037], p = 0.002). Conclusion: Two of every 5 inpatients older than 50 years screened at high risk for OSA. Those screening at high risk have worse in-hospital sleep quantity and quality. Commentary: A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 1067.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Hospitalized patients
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of sleep apnea in hospitalized older patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this