What is the etiological relationship between hypothyroidism and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Hypothyroidism is associated with macroglossia and increased soft tissue mass in the pharyngeal region and thus with an increased risk of SDB. Hypothyroidism is also associated with myopathy that may contribute to UA dysfunction. Although it has been linked with the development of OSA, evidence indicates that its prevalence is no higher in patients with OSA than in the general population. Accordingly, patients with OSA should not be routinely screened for hypothyroidism, except possibly elderly women.


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