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Obesity and Perceived Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea–Related Conditions

Smith, Matthew Lee PhD, MPH, CHES; Smith, Harold A. DDS; Wilson, Kelly L. PhD, MCHES; Ahn, SangNam PhD, MPSA; Pulczinski, Jairus C. BS; Ory, Marcia G. PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000042
Original Articles

This study examined risk factors and perceived severity of obstructive sleep apnea–related conditions among college students based on weight categories. Data collected from 1399 college students were analyzed using multinomial and binary logistic regressions. Overweight and obese participants were more likely to snore and report familial risk for cardiovascular disease compared with their normal weight counterparts. Relative to normal weight participants, obese participants perceived snoring (odds ratio [OR] = 1.10), irritability (OR = 1.16), and high blood pressure (OR = 1.21) as more severe; they perceived erectile dysfunction (OR = 0.89) and cardiovascular disease (OR = 0.71) as less severe. Efforts are needed to identify obstructive sleep apnea risk and create systems for weight loss interventions, screening, and diagnosis.

Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia College of Public, Health, Athens (Dr M. L. Smith); Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station (Drs Ahn and Ory and Mr Pulczinski); Dental Sleep Medicine of Indiana, Indianapolis (Dr H. A. Smith); Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station (Dr Wilson); and Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, The University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, Tennessee (Dr Ahn).

Correspondence: Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia College of Public Health, 330 River Rd, 315 Ramsey Center, Athens, GA 30602 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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