Associations of symptoms of sleep apnea with cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and mortality among older Japanese-American men

Daniel J. Foley, Andrew A. Monjan, Kamal H. Masaki, Paul L. Enright, Stuart F. Quan, Lon R. White

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    80 Scopus citations


    OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between symptoms of sleep apnea and prevalent cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and subsequent 3- year mortality. DESIGN: A longitudinal study. SETTING: Participants lived in the community on Oahu, Hawaii PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2905 older Japanese- American men participating in the fourth examination of the Honolulu Heart Program cohort study from 1991-1993, which is the baseline for the Honolulu- Asia Aging Study of dementia. MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported snoring, daytime sleepiness, and breathing pauses; diagnosed cardiovascular disease and dementia; cognitive functioning and vital status approximately 3 years later. RESULTS: More than 12% of the participants reported that they often or always snored loudly, and 8% reported being sleepy most of the day. Fewer than 2% reported that they stop breathing when sleeping, and this was found more frequently among habitual snorers (7%, P < .001) and those sleepy during the day (5%, P < .001). The prevalence of habitual snoring declined in the older age groups, was higher among those with greater Body Mass Index scores, and was not associated with the reporting of daytime sleepiness, diagnosis of heart disease, stroke, dementia, or cognitive impairment. Daytime sleepiness was more prevalent at older ages and was associated with a higher prevalence of heart disease and with cognitive impairment and dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Self-reported apnea was associated only with a history of pneumonia. Three-year mortality was not associated with these symptoms after adjusting for prevalent heart disease and cognitive impairment. CONCLUSION: Symptoms of sleep apnea are reported less frequently in older Japanese-American men. Excessive day time sleepiness is associated with poor cognition and dementia, but whether it also is an indicator for sleep apnea in this age group remains unclear. Epidemiologic studies of sleep apnea in older adults will require polysomnography to determine accurately the correlates and consequences of this condition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)524-528
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 1999


    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Cognitive impairment
    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Mortality
    • Sleep apnea
    • Snoring

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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