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Small studies in Western populations report a high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults with Down syndrome. To date, ethnic differences have not been explored. A questionnaire sent to 2,752 adults with Down syndrome aged ≥16 years in Scotland and Japan (789 valid responses) estimated OSA prevalence based on reported symptoms. Symptoms were common in both countries, with snoring (p = 0.001) and arousals (p = 0.04) more prevalent in Japan. Estimated OSA prevalence in adults with Down syndrome was similar in the two countries, and raised in comparison with the general adult population (19.6% in Scotland and 14.3% in Japan; p = 0.08), though BMI was a confounder. Identification and treatment of OSA is recommended in adults with Down syndrome, regardless of ethnicity.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Intellect Dev Disabil

Publication Date





260 - 273


Down syndrome, epidemiology, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep-related breathing disorders, Adult, Comorbidity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Down Syndrome, Female, Humans, Japan, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Scotland, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive