AIM: To evaluate the symptoms of obese patients with polysomnographic diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). METHODS: All obese patients (BMI > 30 kg/m²) that accomplished overnight polysomnography in two sleep laboratories in the city of Salvador, BA, Brazil, in the period of July to December of 2004, and had an apnea hypopnea index (AHI) > 5. The considered symptoms were excessive daytime sleepiness, awakenings during the night and nocturnal choking or gasping. RESULTS: 73 patients were included, being 57.5% male, with mean age and BMI of 45.2 years old and 38.0 kg/m², respectively. The majority (49.3%) was classified as having severe OSA (AHI > 30). Data revealed that 19.2% of the patients did not have any symptoms, while 28.8% had one symptom, 30.1% had two and 21.9% had three. There was no statistically significant difference in the severity of OSA between the subjects with and without symptoms. There was a higher prevalence of asymptomatic patients in the subgroup with severe obesity - BMI > 35kg/m² (30.8% vs. 5.9%; p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: The polysomnography seems to be a fundamental exam in the evaluation of obese patients due to the elevated prevalence of asymptomatic individuals with OSA in this group, especially the severe obese.
Sleep apnea; Obesity; Polysomnography; Bariatric surgery