Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Sep;14(5):662-668. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.5.662.

Modest Improvement of Untreated Severe Sleep-Disordered Breathing in the Middle-Aged and Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seungnam, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Medical Research Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


It has been reported that untreated sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) deteriorates over time, however this remains contentious. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the clinical course of SDB in middle-aged and older SDB patients, and to identify how relevant factors contribute to the change in SDB severity.
Baseline and follow-up polysomnographic data of 56 untreated SDB patients (mean age, 61.2±5.71) were obtained retrospectively and the mean interval was 62.4±22.0 months. Subgroup analysis was performed based on the baseline severity, and the factors associated with the course of SDB were analyzed.
At the baseline, 13 subjects were simple snorers, 15 had mild to moderate SDB, and 28 were severe SDB patients. While there was no significant change in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) as a whole, subgroup analysis showed decrease of AHI in severe SDB patients (43.9±10.6 to 35.6±20.0, p=0.009). The change in supine time percent and baseline AHI were associated with the change in AHI (β=0.387, p=0.003; β=-0.272, p=0.037).
Untreated SDB did not deteriorate over time with modest improvement in severe SDB. A proportion of severe SDB patients might expect decrease in SDB severity irrespective of changes in sleep position or body weight.


Apnea-hypopnea index; Clinical course; Sleep position; Sleep-disordered breathing

MeSH Terms

Body Weight
Follow-Up Studies
Retrospective Studies
Sleep Apnea Syndromes*
Full Text Links
  • PI
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error