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Nighttime oxygen desaturation and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in long-stay nursing home residents.

Martin JL, Mory AK, Alessi CA. Nighttime oxygen desaturation and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in long-stay nursing home residents. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2005 Jan 1; 60(1):104-8.

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BACKGROUND: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is common in older adults and has been implicated as a cause of decreased quality of life and even death. Sparse data exist on SDB in the nursing home setting. The authors evaluated SDB (using attended nocturnal pulse oximetry) in nursing home residents with daytime sleepiness and nighttime sleep disturbance. METHODS: Pulse oximetry was used to estimate the prevalence of nighttime oxygen desaturation in 109 long-stay nursing home residents (mean [standard deviation] age = 86.2 [9.2] years; 74% women). Pulse oximetry findings were compared to a structured observational measurement of symptoms of SDB, the Observational Sleep Assessment Instrument. Seventy-one participants had concurrent wrist actigraphy to estimate total sleep time during oximetry recording. RESULTS: Using the oxygen desaturation index (ODI; average number of oxygen desaturations 4% or more below the baseline level per hour), the authors found that 40% of the residents had abnormal ODI (ODI more than 5, which is suggestive of SDB). Of all observational variables assessed, only loud breathing during sleep was significantly correlated with ODI (r = .284; p = .003). When ODI was adjusted for estimated total sleep time, higher adjusted ODI was associated with higher body mass index (kg/m(2)). CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal ODI is common in nursing home residents. Observed loud breathing at night and high body mass index may suggest that further assessment of SDB is indicated. Future research should determine the importance of SDB and abnormal nocturnal oxygen desaturation on functioning and quality of life in nursing home residents.

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