Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is estimated to cause approximately 2,000 deaths in the USA every year (Massey et al., 2014) and is the major cause of death in individuals with refractory epilepsy. Since most SUDEP cases have been found in bed, there has been a great deal of effort trying to investigate the comorbidity of sleep and epilepsy.
The goal of this exploratory study is to assess the association in 49 epilepsy adult inpatients between probable Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and the seven risk factors of SUDEP established in the SUDEP-7 Index (DeGiorgio et al., 2010).
Forty-nine adult patients with epilepsy who were admitted to the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Epilepsy Program inpatient monitoring unit with focal, generalized, or unclassified epilepsy syndromes were included. Probable OSA was identified using overnight oximetry; the Sleep Apnea—Sleep Disorder Questionnaire; and STOP-BAG, which provides predicted scores for OSA using Snoring, Tiredness, Observed breathing pauses, Pressure too high, BMI > 35 kg/m2 , Age > 50, and Gender = male. Statistical calculations were carried out using JMP Version 9 (SAS Inc., Cary, NC).
A statistically significant association (p = 0.005) was found between patients with higher SUDEP-7 scores (of median 3 and above) and those with probable OSA as diagnosed by the Oxygen Desaturation Index data. Statistical analyses with other measures for probable OSA also showed either a positive correlation or a trend toward association between SUDEP-7 scores and probable OSA variables. Further studies are needed to confirm whether OSA is a potential SUDEP risk factor so that we can take appropriate measures in treating epilepsy patients with OSA.
Thao Luu, ’16
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Sponsor: Jeffrey Cardon