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Nocturnal symptoms perceived as asthma are associated with obstructive sleep apnoea risk, but not bronchial hyper-reactivity


Senaratna, CV and Walters, EH and Hamilton, G and Lowe, AJ and Lodge, C and Burgess, J and Erbas, B and Giles, GG and Thomas, P and Abramson, MJ and Thompson, B and Perret, JL and Dharmage, SC, Nocturnal symptoms perceived as asthma are associated with obstructive sleep apnoea risk, but not bronchial hyper-reactivity, Respirology, 24, (12) pp. 1176-1182. ISSN 1323-7799 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology

DOI: doi:10.1111/resp.13576


Background and objective: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and asthma are associated, and nocturnal breathing difficulty that is usually identified as asthma‐like symptoms can be present in both conditions. We investigated how nocturnal asthma‐like symptoms (NAS) and bronchial hyper‐reactivity (BHR) contribute to the association between OSA risk and current asthma, which is currently unknown but a clinically important question.

Methods: We used data from 794 middle‐aged participants in a population‐based cohort who provided information on OSA risk (defined by a STOP‐Bang questionnaire score of at least 3), current asthma and NAS, and underwent methacholine bronchial challenge testing. Using regression models, we examined the association between OSA risk and current asthma‐NAS subgroups and investigated any effect modification by BHR.

Results: The participants were aged 50 years (49.8% male). OSA risk was associated with NAS with or without current asthma (odds ratio (OR): 2.6; 95% CI = 1.35.0; OR: 4.2; 95% CI = 1.116.1, respectively), but not with current asthma in the absence of NAS. BHR was associated with current asthma with or without NAS (OR: 2.9; 95% CI = 1.45.9; OR: 3.4; 95% CI = 2.07.0, respectively) but not with NAS in the absence of current asthma. The associations between OSA risk and current asthma were neither modified nor mediated by BHR.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that some of the nocturnal symptoms perceived as asthma may be OSA symptoms. Patients with nocturnal asthma symptoms should be considered for possible OSA.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:airway resistance, asthma, bronchial hyper-reactivity, sleep apnoea syndromes, sleep apnoea, obstructive
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:134098
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-07-25
Last Modified:2020-08-14

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