Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Comorbidities of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Among a Working Population in Kuwait: A Cross-Sectional Study

Husain Al-Qattan, Hamad Al-Omairah, Khaled Al-Hashash, Fahad Al-Mutairi, Mohammad Al-Mutairat, Mohammad Al-Ajmi, Anwar Mohammad, Abdulmohsen Alterki, Ali H. Ziyab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects a considerable proportion of adults globally and is associated with elevated morbidity and mortality. Given the lack of epidemiologic data on the burden of OSA in Kuwait, this study sought to estimate its prevalence, associated risk factors, and comorbid conditions among a working population in Kuwait. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of a sample of working adults (n = 651) from public institutions in Kuwait. High/low risk for OSA was ascertained according to the Berlin Questionnaire criteria. Participants self-reported their coexisting health conditions. Associations were assessed using Poisson regression with robust variance estimation; adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Results: Overall, 20.0% (130/651) of participants were classified as being at high risk for OSA, with more male than female subjects being at high risk (24.0% [56/233] vs. 17.7% [74/418], P = 0.053), though this difference did not gain statistical significance. Moreover, a high risk for OSA was more common among older and obese subjects. Factors associated with increased prevalence of a high risk for OSA included current smoking status (aPR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.02–2.06), longer hours spent watching television (1.76, 1.10–2.81), and lower self-perceived physical health (2.11, 1.15–3.87). However, decreasing trends in the prevalence of high risk for OSA were observed with frequent engagement in vigorous physical activity and longer nightly sleep duration. Compared to those at a low risk for OSA, the subjects at high risk for OSA were more likely to have insomnia disorder (2.83, 1.81–4.41), diabetes (1.94, 1.15–3.27), hypertension (3.00, 1.75–5.16), and depression (4.47, 1.80–11.08). Conclusion: This study estimated that 1/5 of working adults in Kuwait were at high risk for OSA, and the prevalence varied according to personal characteristics and lifestyle factors. Also, a high risk for OSA classification was associated with multiple comorbid health conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number620799
Pages (from-to)620799
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021


  • adults
  • comorbidities
  • Kuwait
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • prevalence
  • risk factors


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