Background Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) becomes more prevalent as men aging. In fact, age is the number one predictor for obstructive sleep apnea. At the same time, serum testosterone level decreases about 50% from age 30 to 80. Some previous studies have demonstrated a link between obstructive sleep apnea and testosterone supplement therapy. However, it has not been determined whether at baseline, obstructive sleep apnea is associated with serum testosterone level.
Methods Twenty-eight older men between the ages of 60 to 80 with borderline hypogonadism were enrolled in this study. Apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), baseline total serum testosterone level, age, BMI, neck size, and LDL level were evaluated. Study subjects were divided into those with obstructive sleep apnea (AHI ≥ 10) and a non-sleep apnea group (AHI < 10).
Results At baseline, baseline serum testosterone levels (288 ± 48ng/dL) were significantly different (p = .001) between the obstructive sleep apnea group (n = 14) and the non-sleep apnea group (n = 14). Also, the AHI (17 ± 3) was inversely correlated with serum testosterone (r2 = .20, p = .02). No other risk factors, including age (67 ± 6), BMI (29 ± 4 kg/m2), neck size (16 ± 1 inches), and LDL levels (103 ± 26 mg/dL), were significantly different between the two groups (p = ns).
Conclusions In borderline hypogonadal aging men, baseline serum testosterone levels can be a predictor for the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
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