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Journal Article


Scrima L, Hartman PG, Hiller FC. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1989; 13(3): 420-427.


Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


(Copyright © 1989, John Wiley and Sons)






To test the effect of alcohol ingestion and snoring on sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), the sleep and respiration of 31 nonobese healthy males ages 30-49 (15 snorers, 16 nonsnorers) were studied overnight after alcohol ingestion. Subjects received placebo, 0.32, 0.65, and 0.81 g alcohol/kg body weight prior to their evening bedtime, with each dose given on one of four nonconsecutive nights in a repeated-measures counterbalanced design. On each night, respiration was assessed by recording respiratory effort from intercostal surface electromyography (EMG), ventilation from oral and nasal thermistors, and arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) from an ear oximeter (BIOX III). Snorers had significantly: (a) more total SDB, (b) more obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and (c) lower minimum SaO2 than nonsnorers after the placebo and each alcohol dose. Snorers had more hypoxic events than nonsnorers after each alcohol dose but not after placebo. Increasing alcohol dose caused a statistically significant (p = 0.0004) decrease in minimum SaO2 in snorers only, but this decrease was small and probably not clinically important. Alcohol did not cause significant increases in SDB and hypoxic events, and did not have different effects on SDB and hypoxic events for snorers versus nonsnorers. Because this experiment included only nonobese 30-49-year-old males, these results do not imply that alcohol has no significant effects on obese subjects or those older than 50.

Language: en


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