Racial disparity in sleep apnea-related mortality within the United States

This article was originally published here

Sleep Med. 2022 Feb 7;90:204-213. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.11.014. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States (US). Although the prevalence, risk factors, and presentations of sleep apnea vary by racial groups, the racial in sleep apnea-related mortality remains unclear.

METHODS: Sleep apnea-related mortality for 1999-2019 was obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We examined the mortality trends for sleep apnea using Joinpoint regression analysis and compared the associated outcomes and multiple causes of death between Blacks and Whites.

RESULTS: For 1999-2019, sleep apnea was documented as the underlying cause of death in 17,053 decedents, with 2593 blacks and 14,127 whites. The overall age-adjusted mortality in all population, Blacks, and Whites were 2.5, 3.5, and 2.4 per 1,000,000 population, respectively (P < 0.001). Both Blacks and Whites had the highest mortality in the Midwest and the lowest in the Northeast. Despite the flattened mortality trend in the last decade overall, Black males had a continuous increase in mortality over the study period (Annual Percentage Change 2.7%, 95% CI: 1.2-4.2). For both genders of sleep apnea decedents, Blacks were more likely to have multiple cause of death of Cardiac Arrest, Hypertension, Obesity, and Chronic Renal Failure, but Arrhythmia was more common in Whites (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant racial in sleep apnea-related mortality in the US. The uptrend in mortality in Black males and associated outcomes related to cardiovascular disease should raise concerns specifically in Blacks with sleep apnea.

PMID:35202926 | DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2021.11.014

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