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Polysomnographic variables and complaints of sleep disorders in elderly


Difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep could indicate insomnia and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Complaints of sleep disorders in adults are already established, but the relationship in elderly over 80 years old is still poorly investigated.


To evaluate complaints related to sleep disorders and polysomnographic variables in elderly over 80 years old.


Subjects with suspect of sleep disorders were retrospectively gathered where they performed a full night polysomnography. Demographic data and clinical symptoms were self-described by the participants. Sleep efficiency of <85% was the standard to define insomnia and an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >5 events per hour was the one to diagnose OSA.


Were included 100 participants older than 80 years old and 156 control subjects with 60 exact years. As regards the total number of the participants, 58% (n=147) had a sleep efficiency <85% and 87% (n=222) AHI>5 on polysomnography. The main complaints among older and 60 years old, respectively (chi-square test adjusted residual analysis): “snoring” (27% vs. 56%; p<0.001), “sleep apnea” (15% vs. 11%; p=0.33), “insomnia” (15% vs. 10%; p=0.23), “somnolence” (2.0% vs. 1.3%; p = 0.64). In cases with 60 years old, woman and men had similar snoring and insomnia complaints. Among elderly over 80 years old and controls, the prevalence of sleep efficiency <85% were 71.7% vs. 48.7%, respectively with adjusted residual analysis (p<0.001). The sleep apnea diagnosed with AHI>5 was similar between cases and controls (88% vs. 87%; p=0.85). There was no association between apnea severity among cases and controls: AHI> 15 (73% vs. 62%; p=0.80), AHI>30 (49% vs. 40%; p=0.20), respectively.


There was no difference between complaints of sleep disorders among the studied groups, except for complaints about snoring, which was more prevalent in the 60 years old patients. Polysomnographic data showed that older people, over 80 years old, had higher insomnia criteria than 60 years old subjects. This is the first study to analyze the relationship of sleep disorder complaints with polysomnography test in elderly over 80 years old.


elderly; insomnia; obstructive sleep apnea;


Área Clínica


Lauren Sezerá Costa, Jéssica Cristina de Cezaro, Lisette Carolina Redondo Cotes, Aline Prikladnicki, Chaiane Piccin Facco, Emerson Ferreira Martins, Ruy Silveira Moraes, Denis Martinez