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Although sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is common, studies assessing the anesthetic management of these patients are rare and consist mainly of case studies. We performed a retrospective case-control study to determine the incidence of difficult intubation in SAS patients and to determine the relationship between the severity of SAS and the occurrence of difficult intubation. Among 113 patients included (36 and 77 in the SAS and control groups, respectively), difficult intubation occurred more often in SAS patients than in controls (21.9% versus 2.6%, respectively;P < 0.05). No relationship was found between the severity of SAS and the occurrence of difficult intubation. Disappointingly, no single factor was associated with the occurrence of difficult intubation in SAS patients. We conclude that SAS is a risk factor for difficult intubation.