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Sex differences in anthropometric and cephalometric characteristics in the severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

  • Hung-Huey Tsai
    Affiliations
    Professor, College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Ching-Yin Ho
    Affiliations
    Associate professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Pei-Lin Lee
    Affiliations
    Lecturer, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Ching-Ting Tan
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests to: Ching-Ting Tan, Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Rd, Taipei 100, Taiwan, ROC
    Affiliations
    Assistant professor, Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
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      Introduction

      Craniofacial anatomic abnormalities related to structural narrowing of the upper airway have been reported in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The purpose of this study was to test whether there are sex differences in the relative contributions of specific anthropometric and cephalometric measurements of OSAS severity.

      Methods

      The subjects were Taiwanese patients who visited the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department of National Taiwan University Hospital with complaints of snoring or sleep apnea. The anthropometric, cephalometric, and overnight polysomnographic records of 109 subjects were evaluated.

      Results

      There are obvious sex differences in the craniofacial skeletal characteristics that contribute to OSAS severity. Male patients with the following risk factors are likely to have more severe type OSAS: increased neck size, inferiorly positioned hyoid bone, and greater anterior lower facial height. The risk factors related to the severity of OSAS in female patients include smaller posterior facial height and anteriorly positioned hyoid bone.

      Conclusions

      To evaluate OSAS severity, different anthropometric and cephalometric measurements should be used for men and women. The craniofacial skeletal characteristics that contribute to OSAS severity were in the anterior lower portion of the profile in men and in the posterior portion of the profile in women.
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