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Volume 14 No. 10
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty May Reduce the Incidence of Dementia Caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea: National Insurance Service Survey 2007–2014

Jae Hoon Cho, MD, PhD1; Jeffrey D. Suh, MD2; Kyung-Do Han3; Jin-Hyung Jung3; Heung Man Lee, MD, PhD4
1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; 2Department of Head and Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; 3Department of Biostatistics, Biomedicine and Health Sciences, Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Study Objectives:

Numerous studies have found that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes or exacerbates dementia, including Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. However, the evidence is often conflicting. Moreover, no study has investigated the effect of surgical treatment for OSA on dementia.


This retrospective cohort study analyzed data from the Korea National Health Insurance Corporation. A total of 125,417 participants (age 40 years or older) with a new diagnosis of OSA between 2007 and 2014 were included. The participants were classified into two groups: those who underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP group, n = 12,664) and those who underwent no surgical treatment (no surgery group, n = 112,753). Propensity score matching by age and sex was used to select the control group of 627,085 participants. Mean follow-up duration was 4.6 ± 2.3 years. The primary endpoint was newly diagnosed Alzheimer dementia, vascular dementia, or other types of dementia.


Compared with the control group, the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval of dementia was calculated for patients with OSA. In the no-surgery group, the incidence of Alzheimer disease (HR 1.30 [1.22–1.38]), vascular dementia (HR 1.20 [1.05–1.36]), and other types of dementia (HR 1.35 [1.20–1.54]) was significantly higher than those among the control group. In the UPPP group, the incidence of Alzheimer disease (HR 1.08 [0.80–1.45]), vascular dementia (HR 0.58 [0.30–1.12]), and other types of dementia (HR 1.00 [0.57–1.77]) was similar to control levels.


Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty may have a preventive effect on dementia in patients with OSA.


Cho JH, Suh JD, Han KD, Jung JH, Lee HM. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty may reduce the incidence of dementia caused by obstructive sleep apnea: National Insurance Service Survey 2007–2014. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(10):1749–1755.

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