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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


SALDIAS PENAFIEL, Fernando et al. Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in Chilean adults. A sub-study of the national health survey, 2016/17. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.7, pp.895-905. ISSN 0034-9887.


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) affects approximately 10%-20% of adults and is associated with obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.


To assess the prevalence and risk factors associated with OSAS in Chilean adults.

Material and Methods:

A standardized sleep questionnaire and respiratory polygraphy at home were conducted on adults aged 18 years or more, residing in the Metropolitan Region and enrolled in the 2016/17 National Health Survey.


Two-hundred and five people between 18 and 84 years old (46% men, mean age 50 years) underwent overnight respiratory polygraphy at home. The estimated obstructive sleep apnea prevalence was 49% (62% men, 31% women) considering an apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 5 respiratory events/hour, and 16% (21% men, 13% women) considering an apnea–hypopnea index ≥ 15 respiratory events/hour. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea continuously increased along with age for men and women, with a later onset for women. Age, gender, body mass index, cervical and waist circumference, snoring, reporting of apnea by proxies, self-reported cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia, were significantly associated with OSAS. No association was found with insomnia and daytime sleepiness.


The prevalence and risk factors associated to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome were high among these adults.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Hypertension, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Sleep Apnea, Obstructive; Sleep Apnea Syndromes.

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