The Effect of Opium on Polysomnographic Findings in Patients with Sleep Apnea


1 Department of Internal Medicine,

2 Bamdad Sleep and Breathing Disorders Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, ISFAHAN-IRAN.


Background: Many reports are available about the increasing rate of mortality due to overuse of opioids. It has been suggested that sleep apnea can be a cause of mortality because of overuse of opioids. Opium use is common in Iran. This study aimed to assess the effect of opium on polysomnographic findings in opium addicts with sleep apnea syndrome. Materials and Methods: In this prospective case-control study, 50 opium addicts with sleep apnea were compared and matched for age, sex and body mass index with 50 non-addict patients with sleep apnea to determine the effect of opium on sleep disorders and polysomnographic findings. Sleep stages, apneas, hypopneas and desaturation were evaluated and recorded for participants in both groups. Data were analyzed and compared using SPSS version 15 software. Results: There were significant differences between the two groups in sleep efficiency (P-value=0.00), apnea/hypopnea index (0.02), hypopnea (P-value=0.00), desaturation (P-value=0.01), sleep latency to stage 1(P-value=0.00) and central apnea (P-value=0.00) but no difference was detected for obstructive apnea (P-value=0.48). Conclusion: Opium can increase central apnea, apnea- hypopnea index and desaturation in opium addicts compared with non-addicts. (Tanaffos2010; 9(3): 33-36)