Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea among former world trade center rescue workers and volunteers

Rafael E. De La Hoz, Rashmi N. Aurora, Paul Landsbergis, Laura A. Bienenfeld, Aboaba A. Afilaka, Robin Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Snoring is a common symptom among workers with adverse health effects from their World Trade Center (WTC) occupational exposures. Rhinitis and upper airway disease are highly prevalent among these workers. Rhinitis has been associated with snoring and, in some studies, with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We examined the association of WTC exposure and findings on nocturnal polysomnogram, as well as known predictors of OSA in this patient population. Methods: One hundred participants with snoring underwent a polysomnogram to exclude OSA. Comorbidities had been previously evaluated and treated. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) defined and categorized the severity of OSA. Age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and WTC exposure variables were examined in bivariate and multiple regression analyses. Results: Our study sample had a similar prevalence of five major disease categories, as we previously reported. OSA was diagnosed in 62% of the patients and was not associated with any of those disease categories. A trend toward increasing AHI with increasing WTC exposure duration failed to reach the statistical significance (P = 0.14) in multiple regression analysis. An elevated AHI was associated with BMI (P = 0.003) and male sex (P < 0.001). Conclusions: OSA was associated with BMI and male sex but not with occupational WTC exposure indicators in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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