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Sleep apnea in the elderly

Okuro, Masashi; Morimoto, Shigeto

doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000105
Edited by Orestes Forlenza and Claudia Cooper

Purpose of review Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) in the elderly presents varied clinical symptoms and also has many complications. Moreover, there are many hospital departments related to these symptoms. This article uses literature to provide an outline on SAS observed in the elderly.

Recent findings SAS sufferers often have complications with so-called lifestyle-related diseases, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. These symptoms, along with SAS, recede as a result of continuous positive airway pressure treatment. Some have also reported recession of depression symptoms and delay in deterioration of cognitive functions.

Summary The elderly tends to develop SAS through coexistence of chronic respiratory organ disorders, increase in upper airway collapse, strokes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and other physiological anatomical changes that accompany aging. However, judgment on the severity and effects regarding prognosis by each remedy used in the diagnosis and treatment of SAS in the elderly is still being developed, and it is considered necessary to accumulate more evidence and establish new standards.

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, Ishikawa, Japan

Correspondence to Masashi Okuro, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, 1–1 Daigaku, Uchinadamachi, Kahoku-gun, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan 920–0293. Tel: +81 76 286 2211 x6512; fax: +81 76 286 6053; e-mail:

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