High incidence of stroke in young women with sleep apnea syndrome

Chih Cheng Chang, Hsiao Chi Chuang, Cheng Li Lin, Fung Chang Sung, Yen Jung Chang, Chung Y. Hsu*, Ling Ling Chiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) carry a higher stroke risk. The differential stroke risk between sex and among different age groups has not yet been specifically addressed in previous studies. Methods: Using a universal insurance claims database, we identified a large cohort of SAS patients from 1997 to 2010 and assessed the sex- and age-specific stroke risk compared with a control cohort matched for age, sex, and index date. Cox regression analyses were performed to assess the hazard ratio (HR) of stroke and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Stroke-free probabilities were computed using the Kaplan-Meier method and differences between both cohorts were examined using the log-rank test. Results: We identified 29,961 patients with SAS and a control cohort of 119,844 subjects without SAS. The overall incidence of stroke in the SAS cohort was 37% higher compared to the non-SAS cohort (54.6 per 10,000 individual-years vs 39.8 per 10,000 individual-years). After controlling for sex and comorbidities, the SAS cohort exhibited a 19% higher risk for stroke compared to the control cohort (adjusted HR, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.09-1.30]). Women with SAS ages 35. years or younger had the highest stroke risk compared to older age groups of the same sex and their risk for stroke was relatively higher compared to their male counterparts. Conclusion: Women aged 35. years or younger with SAS have a higher stroke risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Cardiovascular
  • Sex
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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