Risk factors for sleep apnoea

Obesity is a risk factor for sleep apnoea.
Obesity is a risk factor for sleep apnoea.

Studies indicate that 4-5% of women and 8-10% of men over 50 years of age suffer from sleep apnoea. Overweight people, and those with facial deformities that could obstruct their airways, are at greater risk.

An important risk factor is the size of your collar. In a man, if you snore and your collar is greater than 43cm, you probably have obstructive sleep apnoea. In a woman, the figure is 40cm.

If you’re a snorer, this alone gives you a 50% risk of having obstructive sleep apnoea.

If, in addition, you’re tired despite having what appears to be adequate hours in bed, you can confidently bet that you have it.

Reviewed by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at The London Sleep Centre and The Constantia Sleep Centre. FRCPsych. April 2018.

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