In adult patients with asthma who also have a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there is a significant decrease in their reported quality of life, according to researchers in Seoul.

More than 200 patients with asthma were randomly asked to complete the Berlin questionnaire and a quality-of-life questionnaire for adult Korean patients with asthma (QLQAKA); all participants were given an asthma control test (ACT). Of those surveyed, 41% were classified as being at high risk for OSA according to the Berlin questionnaire, with the remaining patients classified as being at low risk for the disorder. 

After adjusting for age and gender, patients at high risk for OSA were found to have significantly lower QLQAKA scores than low-risk patients, particularly in the activity domain. 

Investigators also found that the mean age of high-risk patients was significantly higher than that of low-risk patients, as was mean BMI, visceral fat area, percent body fat, and the prevalence of hypertension. High-risk patients also had a significantly longer duration of asthma treatment than those at low risk. 

“Our data provide clinical evidence that OSA is an important contributing factor for poor quality of life in adult patients with asthma and that central abdominal obesity may be involved in this association,” the authors concluded. “Special consideration is needed for the care and treatment of patients with asthma who have a high risk of OSA.”