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Nocturnal asthma-like symptoms tied to obstructive sleep apnoea risk

01 Dec 2019

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are similar to some nocturnal asthma-like symptoms (NAS), suggests a recent study.

“OSA and asthma are associated, and nocturnal breathing difficulty that is usually identified as asthma-like symptoms can be present in both conditions,” the authors said.

This study examined how NAS and bronchial hyper-reactivity (BHR) contributed to the link between OSA risk and current asthma. Data were obtained from 794 middle-aged participants (mean age, 50 years; 49.8 percent male) in a population-based cohort with available information on OSA risk (defined by a STOP-Bang questionnaire score of at least 3), current asthma and NAS and underwent methacholine bronchial challenge testing.

The authors used regression models to examine the association between OSA risk and current asthma-NAS subgroups and to probe any effect modification by BHR.

OSA risk correlated with NAS with (odds ratio [OR], 2.6, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.3–5.0) or without current asthma (OR, 4.2, 95 percent CI, 1.1–16.1), but not with current asthma in the absence of NAS. BHR correlated with current asthma with (OR, 2.9, 95 percent CI, 1.4–5.9) or without NAS (OR, 3.4, 95 percent CI, 2.0–7.0), but not with NAS in the absence of current asthma. Of note, BHR neither modified nor mediated the associations between OSA risk and current asthma.

“Patients with nocturnal asthma symptoms should be considered for possible OSA,” the authors said.

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