Pathophysiology of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: a review

Al Riyami B, Al Rawas O, Hassan MO


Sleep apnoea syndrome is a common disorder and a major health hazard that affects many body systems. It is particularly associated with increased cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. Among its other manifestations include increased daytime somnolence, fatigue, depression, reduced sexual libido and endocrine dysfunction. The main risk factors are obesity, male gender, middle age and heredity. Despite being a recognised major health problem in the industrialised countries, this condition has not yet received its due importance in the developing world. This review introduces breathing disorders during sleep and discusses the pathophysiological features of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome in the light of the currently available literature and the authors’ own clinical experience.


Sleep; apnoea; obstructive; mortality; cardiovascular; airway

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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