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Objective. In hypertensive primary care patients below 65 years of age, ( i ) to describe the occurrence of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea ( OSA ), and ( ii ) to identify the determinants of moderate/severe OSA. Design. Cross-sectional. Setting. Four primary care health centres in Sweden. Patients. 411 consecutive patients ( 52% women ), mean age 57.9 years ( SD 5.9 years ), with diagnosed and treated hypertension ( BP >140/90 ). Main outcome measures. Occurrence of OSA as measured by the apnoea hypopnoea index ( AHI ). Results. Mild ( AHI 5–14.9/h ) and moderate/severe ( AHI > 15/h ) OSA were seen among 29% and 30% of the patients, respectively. Comparing those without OSA with those with mild or moderate/severe OSA, no differences were found in blood pressure, pharmacological treatment ( anti-hypertensive, anti-depressive, and hypnotics ), sleep, insomnia symptoms, daytime sleepiness, or depressive symptoms. Obesity ( BMI > 30 kg/m2 ) was seen in 30% and 68% of the patients with mild and moderate/severe OSA, respectively. Male gender, BMI > 30 kg/m2, snoring, witnessed apnoeas, and sleep duration >8 hours were determinants of obstructive sleep apnoea. Conclusion. Previously undiagnosed OSA is common among patients with hypertension in primary care. Obesity, snoring, witnessed apnoeas, long sleep duration, and male gender were the best predictors of OSA, even in the absence of daytime sleepiness and depressive symptoms.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


© 2012 Informa Healthcare. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

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