MENOPAUSAL WOMEN WITH DAYTIME SLEEPINESS SHOULD BE EVALUATED
Evaluation for sleep-disordered breathing should be a priority for menopausal women with complaints of snoring, daytime sleepiness, or unsatisfactory sleep. Researchers studied a population-based sample of 589 women enrolled in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. They tested the hypothesis that menopause is an independent risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) using in-laboratory sleep testing (polysomnography). (SDB is a condition characterized by repeated breathing pauses during sleep.) In addition to sleep testing, the investigators elicited information on stage of menopause, duration of menopause, use of hormone replacement therapy, history of hysterectomy and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), vasomotor symptoms, plus other physical details. According to the authors, postmenopausal women were 2.6 times more likely to have SDB defined by an apnea/hypopnea index of 5 events (pauses) per hour and 3.5 times more likely to have the condition when SDB is defined by an index of 15. The study is published in the first issue for May 2003 of the American Thoracic Societys peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
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