Controversy persists about whether snoring can affect atherosclerotic changes in adjacent vessels, independently of obstructive sleep apnea and other cardiovascular risk factors. This study examined the independent association between snoring and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in non-apneic snorers and non-snorers. We studied 180 non-apneic snorers and non-snorers participating in a full-night home-based sleep study. Snoring sound was measured objectively by a microphone. Based on snoring time across the night, participants were classified as non-snorers (snoring time: 0%), mild snorers (1–25%) and moderate to heavy snorers (≥25%). We measured IMT on both common carotid arteries. The three groups were matched by age, body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels, using weights from generalized boosted-propensity score models. Mean carotid IMT increased with increased snoring time across the night in women: non-snorers (0.707 mm), mild (0.718 mm) and moderate to heavy snorers (0.774 mm), but not in men. Snoring during at least one-fourth of a night's sleep is associated independently with subclinical changes in carotid IMT in women only.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a research fund (2012-E71002-00, 2013-E71001-00) from Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (K99/R00-NR013177) in the United States, and a program project grant from the US National Institutes of Health (P01-HL094307).
© 2016 European Sleep Research Society
- carotid atherosclerosis
- sleep apnea
- sleep-related breathing disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience