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Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia

Print version ISSN 0100-7203


CORREA, Karin Mitiyo; BITTENCOURT, Lia Rita Azeredo; TUFIK, Sérgio  and  HACHUL, Helena. Frequency of sleep disturbances in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. [online]. 2014, vol.36, n.2, pp.90-96. ISSN 0100-7203.


To evaluate the frequency of sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and insomnia in overweight/obese postmenopausal women seen in a climacteric sleep disorders clinic.


Thirty-four postmenopausal women were selected using the following inclusion criteria: age between 50 and 70 years; at least 12 months of amenorrhea; body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2; and sleep-related complaints with at least one previous polysomnography. Patients provided responses to 6 questionnaires related to sleep characteristics and menopausal symptoms. Weight and height were measured using standardized scales, and abdomen and hip circumferences were also measured. The statistical analyses were performed using the χ2 test for qualitative variables and using Student's t-test for quantitative variables.


Patients' characteristics were as follows: mean age of 60.35 years; mean BMI of 31.62; an average of 11.61 postmenopausal years and an average Kupperman Index of 19. A total of 85.2% of the patients had a waist/hip ratio of less than 0.8. The Epworth Scale score was greater than or equal to 9 in 50% of patients; 68% had sleep disturbances according to the Pittsburgh Index, and 68% were classified as high-risk for sleep apnea by the Berlin Questionnaire. On polysomnography, 70.58% of the patients had a sleep efficiency lower than 85%; 79.41% had a sleep latency of less than 30 min; 58.82% had a REM sleep latency of less than 90 min, and 44.11% had mild apnea. When the groups were compared, a linear association was identified between BMI and the AHI average, and a relationship between high BMI and use of drugs for thyroid treatment was found.


There was a high prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing, initial insomnia, fragmented sleep, and thyroid disorders in the group with higher BMI.

Keywords : Postmenopause; Climacteric; Sleep disorders; Sleep apnea syndrome; Restless leg syndrome; Insomnia; Obesity.

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