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Independent association between hypoxemia and night sweats in obstructive sleep apnea

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To assess the relationship between hypoxemia during polysomnography (PSG) and patient-reported night sweats (NS).


This retrospective observational study included adult patients who completed a standardized sleep questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) before PSG.


We included 1397 patients (41% women). The median age was 52 years, 80% had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) defined as an apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 5, and 35% were obese. A total of 245 patients (17.5%) reported NS. Their prevalence was higher among patients with OSA compared to controls (18.9% vs. 12.2%, p < 0.01). In the bivariate analysis, the variables associated with NS were BMI, AHI, hypoxemia (T90 ≥ 2.5% of total recording time plus minimum SO2 < 85%), frequent body movements or awakenings, nightmares, excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth > 10), nocturia, cardiovascular events, and the use of sedatives or antidepressants. In the multivariate model, the independent predictors of NS were BMI (OR: 1.47, CI 95%: 1.07–2.01, p = 0.016), hypoxemia (OR: 1.87, CI 95%: 1.37–2.60, p = 0.0001), nightmares (OR: 2.60, CI 95%: 1.73–3.80, p < 0.0001), frequent body movements and awakenings (OR: 1.57, CI 95%: 1.16–2.11, p = 0.003 and OR: 1.54, CI 95%: 1.13–2.08, p = 0.005, respectively), and excessive daytime sleepiness (OR: 1.65, CI 95%: 1.24–2.20, p = 0.0007).


In patients with OSA, night sweats were significantly and independently associated with a higher hypoxic burden.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Correspondence to Carlos Alberto Nigro.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of our institutional committee and the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Hospital Alemán. Informed consent was exempted given the retrospective nature of the study and the fact that the polysomnograms performed were part of the routine diagnostic evaluation of patients referred to the sleep laboratory.

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Nigro, C.A., Bledel, I. & Borsini, E. Independent association between hypoxemia and night sweats in obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Breath 27, 1043–1048 (2023).

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