Prevalence and risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea among middle-aged urban Indians: A community-based study

Emmadi V. Reddy, Tamilarasu Kadhiravan, Hemant K. Mishra, Vishnubhatla Sreenivas, Kumud K. Handa, Sanjeev Sinha, Surendra K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Background: The epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is not well studied among Indians. We sought to determine the prevalence and risk factors of OSA in a middle-aged urban Indian population. Methods: We conducted a two-stage, cross-sectional, community-based study in four different socioeconomic zones of the South Delhi district, India, from April 2005 to June 2007. In stage 1, subjects of either gender aged 30-65 yrs were administered a questionnaire by door-to-door survey using systematic random sampling. Subjects that responded were classified as habitual and non-habitual snorers. In stage 2, all the habitual and 10% of randomly selected non-habitual snorers were invited for overnight polysomnographic study. Results: Of the 2860 subjects approached, 2505 (88%) completed stage 1. Habitual snoring was present in 452 (18%) subjects. In stage 2, OSA defined as apnea-hypopnea index ≥5 was observed in 94 (32.4%) of 290 habitual snorers and 3 (4%) of 75 non-habitual snorers. Estimated population prevalence of OSA and OSAS was 9.3% (95% CI 8.2-10.5%) and 2.8% (2.1-3.4%) respectively. On multivariable analysis, male gender (adjusted odds ratio 3.8 [1.7-4.9]), body-mass index ≥25 kg/m2 (4.1 [2.0-8.3]), and abdominal obesity (2.2 [1.9-5.3]) were independently associated with the presence of OSA. A linear trend was observed in the prevalence of OSA across the socioeconomic strata. Conclusions: OSA is a significant public health problem in the middle-aged Indian population across the socioeconomic spectrum. OSA is associated with some of the well known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer India Ltd. to SKS.

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Kalaivani for her help in statistical analyses; sleep technicians Mr. Hridesh Mishra, Mr. Jitender Sharma, and Mr. Jitender Kumar; field workers Mr. Balram, Mr. Kuldeep, and Mr. Santosh for their assistance in data collection. TK is supported by the Scientists’ Pool Scheme of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewer for his/her invaluable suggestions.


  • Community survey
  • Indians
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Polysomnography
  • Prevalence


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea among middle-aged urban Indians: A community-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this