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There are gender differences in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study reported in Sleep (March 2005). The study involved 260 participants (n = 130 men, and n = 130 women) with the condition. The findings indicated that women were more likely than men to have a history of 3 conditions: treatment for depression, hypothyroidism, and insomnia. The researchers also recommended that physicians watch for sleep apnea in obese women with a history of any of those conditions.
The results of the study, however, showed no major gender differences concerning prevalence of sleep-related symptoms (ie, excessive daytime sleepiness, restless legs syndrome, and dreaming on sleep onset). The researchers also found that both genders developed symptoms of OSA at about the same agethe mid-30s to early 40s.