247965 Snoring and obesity: Awareness and perceived severity of conditions related to obstructive sleep apnea among late adolescents

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Athens, GA
Justin Dickerson, MBA , Department of Health Policy & Management, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Kelly Wilson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
SangNam Ahn, PhD, MPSA , Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, The University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, TN
Harold A. Smith, DDS , Smith-Brauer Dentistry, Smith-Brauer Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Snoring and obesity are related and identified as clinical correlates of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is known to precede and complicate life-threatening chronic conditions among middle-aged adults, yet OSA symptoms and health ramifications are less recognized among younger at-risk subgroups. The purposes of this study are to: (1) identify college students at-risk for obstructive sleep apnea based on their self-reported snoring, body mass index, and family history; and (2) examine students' perceived severity of OSA-related conditions based on their overweight or obese status. Data were collected from 1,532 college students in Texas using an internet-based survey. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to compare OSA-related risk factors and severity perceptions associated with being normal weight (58.2%), overweight (24.3%), and obese (17.6%). Snoring was reported by 67.5% and 81.6% of overweight and obese participants, respectively. Compared to normal weight students, overweight and obese students were significantly more likely to be male, Hispanic, have obese parents, and snore. Obese participants were significantly more likely to perceive snoring [OR=1.13, p=0.003], obesity [OR=1.50, p<0.001], irritability [OR=1.17, p=0.003], and high blood pressure [OR=1.17, p=0.041] as severe, when compared to their normal weight counterparts. Conversely, obese participants were significantly less likely to perceive erectile dysfunction [OR=0.87, p=0.03], depression [OR=0.83, p<0.001], and cardiovascular disease [OR=0.75, p<0.001] as severe. Despite being at risk for health consequences associated with OSA, obese participants may underestimate the severity of OSA-related conditions. Understanding college students' risk for OSA and associated chronic illnesses can inform awareness campaigns and interventions to improve college health.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify personal and familial risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea among college students 2. Identify college studentsí perceived severity of obstructive sleep apnea-related symptoms and conditions 3. Assess differences in OSA-related risk factors and severity perceptions based on college studentsí overweight and obese status

Keywords: College Students, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a health educator and researcher in the field of chronic disease prevention for over 8 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.