Association Between Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonists and Snoring Among Women in the Nurses’ Health Study

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Abstract

Importance

Snoring is highly prevalent among adults. The use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists is also common, with higher prevalence of use with more advanced age. Benzodiazepine receptor agonists cause muscle relaxation, which may affect muscle tone and airway dynamics and thereby increase snoring. Previous studies examining the association between use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists and snoring were underpowered to detect clinically meaningful differences or did not report the magnitude of association.

Objective

To investigate the association between use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists and snoring in women.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Women aged 62 to 86 years provided information on snoring and covariates of interest in the 2008 survey of the Nurses’ Health Study, a cross-sectional cohort study of female registered nurses in the United States. Potential effect modification of the association between use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists and snoring by age, body mass index, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity was explored. Logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. Data analysis was conducted from November 2015 to March 2016.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Self-reported habitual snoring, defined as a few nights a week or more.

Results

Of 52 504 participants (mean [SD] age, 72.4 [6.7] years), 14 831 (28.2%) reported habitual snoring. There was a slightly higher prevalence of benzodiazepine receptor agonist use among habitual snorers (11.4%) compared with nonhabitual snorers (10.6%) (absolute difference, 0.8%; 95% CI, 0.2%-1.4%). After multivariable adjustment, use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists was not associated with snoring (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.95-1.07) compared with women who did not use benzodiazepine receptor agonists. Although there was no significant interaction with smoking, there were higher odds of snoring with use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists among current smokers (odds ratio, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.04-1.73).

Conclusions and Relevance

Use of benzodiazepine receptor agonists is not associated with odds of snoring in middle-aged and elderly women.

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