How does menopause affect the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among women?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Three large epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that the prevalence of OSA in women appears to increase after menopause. [39, 40, 41] In these studies, women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had a prevalence similar to that of premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women are 3 times more likely to have moderate-to-severe OSA compared with premenopausal women. Women who are on HRT are half as likely to have OSA compared with postmenopausal women who are not on HRT. [42]

Premenopausal women with OSAHS tend to be more obese than men with the same severity of disease. Thin women with symptoms of OSAHS appear to have an increased frequency of craniofacial abnormalities.

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