Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea-related hypertension in police officers in Southern China

Minxia Pan, Qiong Ou, Baixin Chen, Zuogeng Hong, Hui Liu


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor for hypertension. OSA-related hypertension is common and treatment of OSA can reduce blood pressure (BP). However, few studies have been conducted on this type of hypertension in the Chinese occupational population.
Methods: We conducted a field investigation of a team of police officers who underwent an annual health check-up in 2017 in the city of Guangzhou, in southern China. Participants were screened with the Berlin Questionnaire and those at high risk for OSA performed a home sleep apnea test (HSAT). BP over 140/90 mmHg or taking antihypertensive drugs is considered hypertension.
Results: Of the 1,036 individuals (799 males and 237 females) included in our study, the mean age was 40.7±9.1 years (range, 22–63 years), 228 (22.0%) were at high risk for OSA, and 103 (9.9%) were diagnosed with OSA. Of the 103 diagnosed with OSA, none had ever been diagnosed with and treated for OSA, and 49 (47.6%) were also diagnosed with hypertension; of these 49, 15 (30.6%) had not been diagnosed with hypertension before, and 27 (55.1%) had never been treated for hypertension. Age [odds ratio (OR) =5.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.78–18.98, P<0.01] and severity of OSA (OR =5.07, 95% CI: 1.72–14.89, P<0.01) were associated with increased risk of OSA-related hypertension. After mood (depression and anxiety) status adjustment, age (adjusted OR =5.81, 95% CI: 1.80–18.80, P<0.01) and severity of OSA (adjusted OR =4.56, 95% CI: 1.49–13.93, P<0.01) were still risk factors for OSA-related hypertension.
Conclusions: Among the policemen of southern China, a higher prevalence was detected not only of OSA but also of OSA-related hypertension which was associated with higher OSA severity and age.