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Volume 14 No. 06
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

High Negative Predictive Value of Normal Body Mass Index for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Lateral Sleeping Position

Łukasz Mokros, MD, PhD1; Wojciech Kuczynski, MD2; Agata Gabryelska2; Łukasz Franczak2; Jakub Spałka, MD2; Piotr Białasiewicz, MD, PhD2
1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland; 2Department of Sleep Medicine and Metabolic Disorders, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Study Objectives:

Obesity is a major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients who are not obese and who have OSA usually present with a low apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) in the lateral sleeping position. Hence, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) seems more dependent on body mass index (BMI) in the lateral sleeping position than the supine sleep position. This makes obesity a better predictor of SDB in the lateral sleeping position. The objective of this study was to find a negative predictive value of normal BMI for SDB in relation to sleep positions, thus defining a group of patients who could be treated by positional intervention, and prioritizing the use of polysomnography diagnostics.


This study comprises a retrospective and prospective part run on groups of 1,181 and 821 consecutive patients, respectively. All had been referred to the university-based sleep laboratory because of suspected OSA and underwent polysomnography.


In the retrospective study, areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for normal BMI at AHI ≥ 5 and AHI ≥ 15 events/h were found to be larger in the lateral sleeping positing than supine: 0.79 versus 0.69 and 0.80 versus 0.68, respectively (P < .05). Comparable results were obtained in the prospective study. For normal BMI, the negative predictive value for AHI < 15 events/h in the lateral sleep position was 97.5% and 97.1% in the retrospective and prospective study, respectively.


Normal BMI offers a high negative predictive value for moderate or severe OSA in the lateral sleeping position.


Mokros Ł, Kuczynski W, Gabryelska A, Franczak Ł, Spałka J, Białasiewicz P. High negative predictive value of normal body mass index for obstructive sleep apnea in the lateral sleeping position. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(6):985–990.

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