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Snoring - Obnoxious (but medically innocent) noise or wakeup call for sleep medicine? (for updating)


ABSTRACT from SMR: December 2014 Sleep Medicine Reviews, has two articles with complementary reviews of adult and pediatric snoring [1,2]. Both studies acknowledge that snoring is often a marker of obstructive sleep apnea, but they also highlight the greater frequency of this symptom and its potential independent clinical importance. The most important issue raised by both reviews is the persisting question about the significance of snoring in the absence of frank obstructive sleep apnea. Both reviews allude to the assumption that snoring is the mildest form of the obstruction we loosely call “sleep disordered breathing” but both come to the conclusion that there is reason to consider that snoring may be more than just mild obstructive sleep apnea: continuous snoring is at least associated with and perhaps defines a pathophysiologic entity that is not easily related to the repetitive and well circumscribed respiratory events marked by hypoxia and/or arousals and that define obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. 1 Dreary, V.Ellis, J.G.Wilson, J.A.Coulter, C.Barclay, N.L. Simple snoring: not quite so simple after all?. Sleep Med Rev. 2014; (xx).
  2. Biggs, S.N.Nixon, G.M.Horne, R.S.C. The conundrum of primary snoring in children: what are we missing in regards to cognitive and behavioural morbidity?. Sleep Med Rev. 2014; (xx).
  3. Berry, R.B.Budhiraja, R.Gottlieb, D.J.Gozal, D.Iber, C.Kapur, V.K. et al, Rules for scoring respiratory events in sleep: update of the 2007 AASM manual for the scoring of sleep and associated events. J Clin Sleep Med. 2012;8:597–619.