Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and Eustachian tube disorders (ETDs) share the same risk factors. The specific aim of this study was to determine the correlation between these 2 conditions and to determine whether treatments for SDB reduce the risk of ETD.
This is a retrospective and large population-based cohort study. According to Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, out of 1,000,000 insured patients, 24,251 patients were newly diagnosed with SDB from year 2000 through 2009. The control group for this study comprised 96,827 patients without SDB who were randomly selected from the same database at a ratio of 1:4, frequency matched for sex, age, and index year of SDB. The incidence of developing ETD was compared between these 2 groups; the main covariates were demographic data, interventions, and medical comorbidities.
There was an increased risk of developing ETD among the SDB cohort compared with the control group (hazard ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval = 1.41–1.63). Compared with SDB patients who did not receive treatment, those who received the treatment, that is, pharyngeal or nasal surgery, CPAP, or multiple modalities (both surgery and CPAP), had a significantly reduced risk of developing ETD.
This study showed that patients with SDB are at an increased risk of developing ETD and other comorbidities. The risk of developing ETD can be reduced by implementing prompt treatment for SDB. Multidisciplinary evaluation including ETD should be conducted in the management of patients presenting with SDB.