History of obstructive sleep apnea associated with incident cognitive impairment in white but not black individuals in a US national cohort study

Russell P. Sawyer, Aleena Bennett, Jessica Blair, Jennifer Molano, Emerlee Timmerman, Forrest Foster, Kristine Karkoska, Hyacinth I. Hyacinth, Jennifer J. Manly, Virginia J. Howard, Megan E. Petrov, Coles M. Hoffmann, Fang Yu, Stacie L. Demel, Yasmin Aziz, Destiny Hooper, Emily J. Hill, Jamelle Johnson, Johnson Pounders, Rhonna Shatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: We sought to determine if risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a history of OSA, and/or treatment of OSA has a different association with incident cognitive impairment or cognitive decline in Black individuals and White individuals. Methods: To determine whether the risk for OSA, a history of OSA, and/or treatment of OSA has a different association with incident cognitive impairment or cognitive decline in Black individuals and White individuals; data from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) was used. Participants that completed the sleep questionnaire module, had baseline cognitive assessment, and at least one cognitive assessment during follow-up were included. Risk of OSA was determined based on Berlin Sleep Questionnaire. History of sleep apnea was determined based on structured interview questions. Optimally treated OSA was defined as treated sleep apnea as at least 4 h of continuous positive airway pressure use per night for ≥5 nights per week. Results: In 19,017 participants stratified by race, White participants with history of OSA were 1.62 times more likely to have incident cognitive impairment compared to White participants without history of OSA after adjusting for demographic characteristics, history, and lifestyle factors (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.05–2.50, p-value = 0.03). This relationship was not seen in Black participants (OR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.60–1.43, p-value = 0.72). Discussion: A previous diagnosis of OSA is associated with incident cognitive impairment in White Americans but not Black Americans. Further investigations are required to determine the mechanism for this difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume112
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Racial disparities

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