Habitual snoring may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a recent study.

In a community-based cohort study that prospectively followed 9062 individuals with normal renal function at baseline, Jung Tak Park, MD, of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues found that participants who self-reported snoring at least 1 day per week had a significant 23% increased risk of developing CKD compared with non-snorers, after adjusting for potential confounders.

“Self-reported snoring may be an effective and easy early screening method for risk stratification of patients with CKD,” Dr Park and colleagues concluded in BMJ Open.

The investigators defined incident CKD as an estimated glomerular filtration rate below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 during the follow-up period.

The study population had a mean age of 52 years. Of the 9062 participants, 4372 (48.2%) were men. Dr Park’s team classified participants into 3 groups: non-snorers (3493 participants, 38.5%), those who snored less than 1 day per week (3749 participants, 41.4%), and those who snored 1 day or more per week (1820 participants, 20.1%). During a mean follow-up period of 8.9 years, CKD developed in 264 (7.6%), 314 (8.4%), and 186 (10.2%) participants in the non-snorer, less than 1 day per week snorer group, and 1 day or more per week snoring group, respectively.

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Investigators used a self-reported sleep quality questionnaire at baseline to collect detailed information on sleep duration, quality, and disorders, including habitual snoring. They assessed snoring frequency using a 5-point scale: never, infrequently, sometimes (1 to 3 nights per week), often (4 or 5 nights per week), and almost every night. In a subset of participants, a bed partner or family member confirmed self-reported answers on snoring.

The authors acknowledged that the use of self-reported questionnaires instead of objective measurements could limit the reliability of the study’s findings.

Previous recent studies have suggested possible associations between sleep problems and CKD. For example, Dr Park and colleagues cited a study of 11,040 Chinese adults showing that worse overall sleep quality was significantly associated with a greater likelihood of being at high or very high risk of CKD. The study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in 2017, also found a significant association between worse overall sleep quality and an elevated risk of proteinuria.

Reference

Lee C, Joo YS, Lee S, et al. Snoring and incident chronic kidney disease: a community-based prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e030671. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030671

Li J, Huang Z, Hou J, et al. Sleep and CKD in Chinese adults: A cross-sectional study. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017;12:885-892. doi: 10.2215/CJN.09270816