Polysomnography vs Self-reported Measures in Patients with Sleep Apnea

Edward M. Weaver, Vishesh Kapur, Bevan Yueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Background: While obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is defined by both polysomnographic (PSG) abnormalities and symptoms, severity is quantified primarily by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) alone. Objective: To determine the correlation between standard PSG indices (AHI and others) and self-reported sleepiness, mental health status, and general health in patients with sleep apnea. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University-affiliated outpatient sleep laboratory. Patients: Ninety-six consecutive patients with PSG-confirmed sleep apnea (AHI ≥5). Measurements: Patients completed a questionnaire that included the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) mental health domain, and self-rated health on the evening of diagnostic PSG. Spearman correlation coefficients were computed. This sample had 85% power to detect a correlation of 0.3 or greater. The associations between PSG indices and self-reported measures were further assessed with multivariable regression techniques, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, comorbidity, and PSG type. Results: The PSG parameters correlated poorly with self-reported measures (15 correlations; range of magnitude, 0.004-0.24; mean, 0.09). AHI was not associated with self-reported sleepiness or general health, and it was associated with the SF-36 Health Status mental health domain only on multiple linear regression (P=.04) but not on multiple logistic regression (adjusted odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.04; P=.09). Conclusions: In general, PSG measures, and AHI in particular, correlated poorly with self-reported measures in a clinical sleep laboratory sample. After adjustment for potentially confounding variables, weak associations were found between some PSG indices and selected self-reported measures. These findings suggest that sleep apnea disease burden should be quantified with both physiologic and subjective measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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