Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Sleep Apnea Syndrome Triggers Life-Threatening Disorders During Sleep
Respiratory Care Clinic, Nippon Medical School
Department of Internal Medicine, Divisions of Pulmonary Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Oncology, Nippon Medical School
Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is defined as sleep disordered breathing (SDB) with at least five episodes of apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep combined with symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness. With prevalence of only 4% in men and 2% in women older than 30 years, SAS is not a rare disease and is increasing with the rate of obesity. It is thought that SAS is caused by narrowing of the upper respiratory tract due to enlargement of the surrounding soft tissue and the structures of the chin and face. Patients with SAS have many difficulties, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, a decline in daily activities, traffic accidents, hypertension, arrhythmia, and automatic nerve and endocrine system disorders. Consequently, SAS causes arteriosclerosis and final outcomes such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Most patients with SAS are unaware of the severity of their disorder and seek medical attention only after a family member points out the snoring with apnea. It is important to remember that SAS is likely to trigger life-threatening disorders during sleep. Therefore, if symptoms, such as excessive sleepiness during daytime hours and snoring with apnea develop, a respiratory specialist should be consulted and continuous positive airway pressure therapy should be performed.
日医大医会誌 2007; 3(2), 96-101
snoring, apnea, sleep apnea syndrome, apnea-hypopnea index, continuous positive airway pressure
Akira Murata, Respiratory Care Clinic, Nippon Medical School, 4-7-15 Kudan-minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074, Japan