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Are questionnaires reliable in diagnosing sleep-disordered breathing in university students?

  • E Migacz (a1), A Wichniak (a2) and W Kukwa (a1)

This study aimed to screen young adults for sleep-disordered breathing, and compare those with high and low risk for sleep-disordered breathing.


A survey based on the Berlin questionnaire was completed by 330 university students, and the results were used to divide them into sleep-disordered breathing positive and sleep-disordered breathing negative groups. A representative group was selected from each cohort (positive group, n = 16; negative group, n = 21), and assessed with sleep study, ENT examination, the Nose Obstruction Symptom Evaluation scale, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.


Sleep-disordered breathing prevalence was 11.2 per cent in the questionnaire and 24 per cent according to the sleep study. The sleep-disordered breathing positive and negative groups significantly differed in terms of coexisting sleep-disordered breathing symptoms. There were no significant differences between the positive and negative groups with regard to sleep study parameters (apnoea/hypopnoea index, respiratory disturbance index, oxygen desaturation index, snoring intensity) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.


Subjective and objective diagnostic tools revealed that sleep-disordered breathing is a common problem among young adults.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Wojciech Kukwa, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Medical University of Warsaw, 19/25 Stepinska Street, 00-739 Warsaw, Poland E-mail:
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Abstract presented at the 23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society, 13–16 September 2016, Bologna, Italy.

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