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The Association between Health Conditions in World Trade Center Responders and Sleep-Related Quality of Life and Sleep Complaints

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
School of Public Health, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1229;
Submission received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Health Effects of the 9/11 Disaster)


Background: World Trade Center (WTC) dust-exposed subjects have multiple comorbidities that affect sleep. These include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), gastroesophageal-reflux disorder (GERD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We examined the impact of these conditions to sleep-related outcomes. Methods: Demographics, co-morbidities and symptoms were obtained from 626 WTC (109F/517M), 33–87years, BMI = 29.96 ± 5.53 kg/m2) subjects. OSA diagnosis was from a 2-night home sleep test (ARESTM). Subjective sleep quality, sleep-related quality of life (QOL, Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire), excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), sleep duration and sleep onset and maintenance complaints were assessed. Results: Poor sleep quality and complaints were reported by 19–70% of subjects and average sleep duration was 6.4 h. 74.8% of subjects had OSA. OSA diagnosis/severity was not associated with any sleep-related outcomes. Sleep duration was lower in subjects with all conditions (p < 0.05) except OSA. CRS was a significant risk factor for poor sleep-related QOL, sleepiness, sleep quality and insomnia; PTSD for poor sleep-related QOL and insomnia; GERD for poor sleep quality. These associations remained significant after adjustment for, age, BMI, gender, sleep duration and other comorbidities. Conclusions: Sleep complaints are common and related to several health conditions seen in WTC responders. Initial interventions in symptomatic patients with both OSA and comorbid conditions may need to be directed at sleep duration, insomnia or the comorbid condition itself, in combination with intervention for OSA.

1. Introduction

Following the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster, many responders who worked in rescue, recovery and debris removal were exposed to high concentrations (greater than 100,000 µm/m3 total particles) of debris [1]. This exposure was associated with an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) [2], chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) [3], post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), anxiety and depression [4] all of which may be associated with sleep disruption. We recently reported a high prevalence of OSA in WTC responders related to chronic rhinosinusitis [5].
OSA is often associated with poor quality of life and sleepiness, likely from the associated sleep fragmentation and intermittent hypoxia. Although there is a weak relationship between presence of OSA and/or severity of OSA and sleep complaints and daytime outcomes, this correlation appears to be quite variable [6,7,8,9,10]. Sleep duration and insomnia may be additional factors affecting the relationship of OSA to sleepiness [6,9]. There is also increasing evidence that medical conditions that often coexist with OSA, such as CRS, anxiety, depression, PTSD and GERD, are associated with sleep complaints [11,12,13,14,15,16,17] and may confound the relationship between OSA and sleep-related quality of life outcomes. The independent contribution of each of these conditions to sleep-related complaints and the associated quality of life has not been closely examined.
Data on sleep-related quality of life, sleepiness and sleep duration were collected as part of a larger study (WTCSNORE) examining the role of nasal pathology in the pathophysiology of OSA in 643 WTC responders. We evaluated the relative contribution of sleep duration and comorbid illness to these outcomes in this population.

2. Materials and Methods

Study Population: The WTCSNORE study is a recently completed National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funded (#U01OH01415) study to examine the effect of nasal pathology on OSA in WTC responders. Between March 2013 and December 2016 we enrolled 643 subjects with no history of OSA and without reported loud and frequent snoring prior to 11 September 2001 from the WTC health programs at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New York University School of Medicine and Icahn School Medicine at Mt. Sinai. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of Rutgers RBHS (Pro2012002164), NYU School of Medicine (I12-02578) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (HS#16-00511) and all subjects signed informed consent. Subjects were considered ineligible if they had been diagnosed with gross skeletal alterations affecting the upper airway (e.g., micrognathia) or unstable chronic medical conditions known to affect OSA (chronic heart failure, stroke), were pregnant or had intent to become pregnant within the period of the protocol, were unable to sign informed consent form, were currently on treatment for OSA, were a habitual snorer prior to 9/11/2001, or had a diagnosis of OSA prior to 9/11/2001. In all subjects we obtained demographic data and the following metrics were assessed:
Sleep-related Quality of life (QOL) was assessed using the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ) [18]. The FOSQ is a validated 30-item questionnaire that is used to assess the impact of disorders of excessive sleepiness on activity of daily living. It consists of 5 subscales evaluating activity level, vigilance, intimacy, general productivity and social outcomes and has a possible combined score that ranges from 5 (poor) to 20 (excellent). A score < 17 is taken to indicate poor sleep-related quality of life.
Excessive daytime sleepiness was evaluated with the Epworth Sleep Scale (ESS), a well-validated questionnaire that asks the subject to rate the likelihood of falling asleep in 8 commonly encountered situations [19]. Possible scores range from 0 (the least sleepy) to 24 (the most sleepy). A score of > 10 defines presence of excessive daytime sleepiness.
A questionnaire regarding sleep and snoring was administered that included questions regarding bed and wake up times, duration of sleep (hours/night), frequency of difficulty falling and maintaining sleep per week, and overall quality of sleep. Quality of sleep was rated on a 4-point scale (1: excellent, 2: good, 3: fair, and 4: poor); poor sleep quality was defined as ≥ 3. Sleep onset insomnia was defined as present when the subject reported having trouble falling asleep at least 1–2 times a week, and sleep maintenance insomnia was recorded when a subject reported waking up early and not being able to go back to sleep at least 1–2 days per week.
Home monitoring for OSA: Subjects wore an ARESTM Unicorder (SleepMed, Inc., West Palm Beach, FL, USA) at home for 2 nights, with a pre-addressed mailer to return the device to the sleep lab. The ARESTM Unicorder is a home sleep test device that has been validated against full in-lab polysomnography [20,21], shows high sensitivity for OSA (0.98) and is routinely used in clinical practice for home monitoring of OSA. It is worn on the forehead and does not require additional wires to external devices. It measures oxygen saturation and pulse rate from reflectance oximetry, airflow from a nasal cannula/pressure transducer, snoring via acoustic microphone and head movement actigraphy and head position from accelerometers. The ARESTM respiratory data were analyzed as follows: Data from the monitor were autoscored and then manually edited by a single trained sleep technician and reviewed by a sleep expert. Apneas were scored when there was a reduction in airflow to less than 10% of baseline for >10 s. Hypopneas 4% were scored for >30% reduction in airflow associated with 4% or more decrease in oxygen saturation. Hypopneas with arousals (HypopneasArsl) were scored for visible reduction (>30% reduction) in airflow associated with surrogates of arousal (head movement, changes in snoring, or changes in pulse rate combined with disappearance of inspiratory flow limitation and a marked (>150%) increase in flow amplitude) at the end of the event, but <4% decrease in oxygen saturation [22]. AHI4% was calculated as Apneas+Hypopneas4% divided by total valid recording time in hours (h). The Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) was calculated as Apneas + Hypopneas 4% + HypopneasArsl divided by total valid recording time. Using these metrics, we define OSA as present when AHI4% ≥ 5/h or when RDI ≥ 15/h. When OSA is present by this definition, severity was graded by the AHI4%: mild (AHI4% < 15/h), moderate (AHI4% ≥ 15/h but < 30/h) or severe (AHI4% ≥ 30/h) [23].
Chronic rhinosinusitsis (CRS): CRS was defined based on epidemiological criteria used in the European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps (EPOS) [24,25]. Subjects were considered CRS+ if two or more of the following symptoms were reported as present for >8 weeks: (1) nasal blockade/obstruction (2) nasal discharge, (3) facial pain and (4) reduction in or loss of smell. At least one symptom had to be nasal blockade or discharge.
In addition, we quantified the subjects’ perception of nasal congestion of each individual nostril by asking them to close one nostril while in the supine position and rate the level of congestion in the free nostril on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being totally blocked/congested and 10 being totally open/uncongested. The lowest score (denoting greater congestion) of the two self-reported values from the left and right nostril was used for analysis.
Comorbid conditions: Information on comorbid Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD and PTSD were obtained from a combination of self-report of physician diagnosis (GERD) obtained in our WTCSNORE questionnaire, standardized questionnaires (Depression, Panic disorder, PTSD) and from the certified conditions listed in WTC Health Program General Responder Data Center (GERD, Depression, Anxiety and Panic Disorder and PTSD) for each subject using the annual visit closest in time to the sleep study. If any of the sources used identified the presence of a co-morbid condition the subject was coded as positive for that condition. Depression was assessed by the patient health questionnaire (PHQ), PTSD (PTSD symptom checklist), panic (PHQ) and anxiety from the GAD-7 [26,27,28,29].
Assessment of other relevant variables and Statistical Analysis: Presence/absence of CRS, OSA, PTSD, Anxiety/Depression and GERD were defined as Yes/No (+/−) variables. Summary statistics were calculated and differences were compared using chi-square test for discrete categorical variables and two-sample t-test for continuous data. For skewed continuous variables, we used Wilcoxon test instead. Logistic regression analyses, with (i) sleep-related QOL (FOSQ ≥ 17 vs <17), (ii) Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) (Epworth sleepiness score >10 vs ≤10), (iii) Poor sleep quality (+/−), (iv) Sleep Onset Insomnia (+/−) and (v) and Sleep Maintenance Insomnia (+/−) as the dependent variables and OSA, CRS, GERD, PTSD, Anxiety/Panic and Depression as the independent variables were used to evaluate the association of sleep parameters and each of the independent variables before and after controlling for age, BMI, gender, sleep duration and the other variables. Statistical significance was defined by p < 0.05. All statistical analyses were performed using SAS v9.4 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA).

3. Results

We analyzed data from 626/643 subjects from the parent WTC study (WTCSNORE) in whom CRS data was available. Subjects were predominantly middle-aged men. The demographic data, sleep duration, sleep-related quality of life and sleep complaints are provided in Table 1. 74.8% of subjects had OSA diagnosed by home monitoring, predominantly mild OSA. 47.1% of the subjects were identified as CRS+ by questionnaire, 19.3% had depression, 23.5% had PTSD, 23.5% had anxiety/panic and 52% had GERD.
Shorter sleep duration (in hours) was observed in subjects with CRS (CRS+ = 6.3 ± 1.4 vs CRS- = 6.5 ± 1.2, p = 0.03), PTSD (PTSD+ = 6.1 ± 1.5 vs PTSD- = 6.5 ± 1.3, p=0.01), anxiety/panic (anxiety/panic+ =6.0 ± 1.4 vs anxiety/panic- =6.5 ± 1.3, p < 0.0001) and depression (depression+ = 6.0 ± 1.4 vs depression- = 6.5 ± 1.3, p = 0.001) but not GERD (GERD+ = 6.4 ± 1.3 vs GERD- = 6.4 ± 1.3, p = NS) and OSA (OSA+ = 6.4 ± 1.3 vs OSA- = 6.4 ± 1.3, p = NS). Subjects with OSA were older than those without OSA, were predominantly male and had higher BMI, but did not differ in sleep duration, ESS, FOSQ or perception of nasal congestion. Subjects with CRS, PTSD, Anxiety/Panic, Depression and GERD showed greater sleepiness by ESS, worse sleep-related QOL by FOSQ and greater perceived nasal congestion than those without the condition. Of note, subjects with CRS had slightly higher BMI and OSA severity (See Table 2).
Shorter sleep duration was significantly associated with worse sleep-related quality of life (FOSQ < 17, OR = 0.76 95% CI = 0.63, 0.92, p = 0.004), worse sleep quality (OR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.50, 0.74, p < 0.0001), increased sleepiness (ESS > 10, OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.72, 0.99, p = 0.03), sleep onset insomnia (OR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.53, 0.74, p < 0.0001) and maintenance insomnia (OR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.43, 0.67, p < 0.0001) using a logistic model controlled for age, BMI, OSA and all comorbidities. In addition, gender was associated with worse sleep-related quality of life (FOSQ) and presence of sleep onset insomnia (p < 0.05). Sleep-related quality of life (FOSQ) and sleepiness (ESS) were significantly negatively correlated (r = −0.62 95% CI −0.67 to −0.57, p < 0.0001) but there was no correlation between sleep disordered breathing indices (SDB, AHI4% or RDI) and FOSQ (r = −0.05 for logAHI4% and r = −0.01 for logRDI, p = NS) or SDB and ESS (r = 0.05, for logAHI4%, r = 0.03, for logRDI, p = NS).
In our dataset, we were unable to demonstrate differences in quality of life, sleepiness, sleep quality, sleep onset insomnia, and sleep maintenance insomnia between subjects with and without OSA. However, presence of the other comorbid conditions (CRS, PTSD, Anxiety/Panic, Depression and GERD) were all significantly associated with worse quality of life, increased sleepiness, worse sleep quality and sleep onset and maintenance insomnia. (Table 3)
Table 4 summarizes the risk of each of the conditions on sleep-related outcomes and shows the associations of quality of life (FOSQ), excessive daytime sleepiness (ESS), sleep quality, sleep onset insomnia and maintenance insomnia with OSA severity, CRS and other co-morbid conditions. Model 1 is the unadjusted data, Model 2 adjusts for age, BMI and sleep duration and Model 3 adjusts for age, BMI, gender, sleep duration and other co-morbid condition. Our data did not show any statistically significant relationship between OSA and any of the sleep-related outcomes. CRS is a significant risk factor for poor quality of life, excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep complaints even in an adjusted model. PTSD was a significant risk factor for poor quality of life, sleep onset insomnia and sleep maintenance insomnia. GERD was a risk factor for poor quality of sleep. Figure 1 is a graphical representation of these odds ratios in Model 3.

4. Discussion

In this large dataset of WTC responders with and without OSA, CRS and other comorbidities that are known to impact sleep and quality of life, we show a significant relationship of sleep-related quality of life, sleepiness and sleep complaints to CRS and PTSD but little or no relationship to the presence of OSA. In patients with OSA, comorbidities that have typically been emphasized include hypertension, arrhythmias, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases [30,31,32]. Our data show that it may also be important to assess other comorbidities that directly impact sleep complaints.
The absence of a relationship between OSA and sleep complaints is not entirely unexpected. While sleepiness is one of the main symptoms of OSA, there is significant variability between individuals and the relationship of OSA (or OSA severity) to quality of life (QOL) and sleepiness has been inconsistent, especially in non-clinical populations [7,8,9,10]. Our data show that controlling for co-morbid conditions did not help explain the variability in OSA and sleep outcomes. Our dataset has a high prevalence of OSA, but the OSA severity (median AHI4% 11.0/h, median RDI 26.0/h in subjects with OSA) was slightly lower than earlier studies of predominantly moderate-severe OSA subjects [33]. However, OSA severity in our cohort is comparable to recent studies in clinical populations [6]—that also did not show a relationship between OSA severity and sleepiness.
Supporting the validity of our self-reported variables, we show the expected relationship between reduced sleep duration and sleepiness and sleep complaints [6]. Average sleep duration has decreased over the recent decades with over 40% of the U.S. population reporting habitual sleep time below the recommended 7–8 h [34]. The association of reduced sleep duration with poor cardiometabolic outcomes [35,36] highlights the importance of our finding of overall short sleep duration in the entire cohort (average 6.4 h with majority having sleep duration <7h) and suggests the need for further investigation and possible intervention.
Our results are also consistent with recent literature showing that individuals with CRS complain of poor sleep and demonstrate poor QOL related to sleep disruption [11,37,38]. However, these studies did not control for OSA severity or sleep duration. We hypothesized that the sleep complaints in CRS could be due to an increase in OSA, but instead found only a relationship to reduced sleep duration. Subjects with CRS in our study reported greater perception of nasal congestion when awake, suggesting that discomfort from congestion during sleep results in the reduced sleep duration and may account for this finding. However, the relationship of CRS to poor sleep remained even after controlling for sleep duration. We have shown a relationship of CRS to level of WTC exposure [5], and chronic inflammation has also been shown to be part of CRS; it is possible that systemic mediators of inflammation such as cytokines contribute to sleep disruption [37,39].
Poor sleep and sleepiness have also been shown in patients with mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety and depression [8,40,41]. In our dataset all these conditions were highly correlated with one another, but also correlated with sleep complaints.
Although the relationship of sleep related outcomes to comorbid conditions remained significant despite controlling for BMI in the models, subjects with each of the conditions had a higher BMI than those without (see Table 2). Obesity is associated with short sleep duration [42] and may impact the sleep-related complaints in these subjects.
Strengths of our study include the large well-characterized dataset of subjects naïve to OSA treatment, objective measurement of OSA in all subjects, concurrent assessment of sleep complaints and data on confounders and comorbid conditions.
One potential limitation is that the incidence of both OSA and comorbid conditions was high in our cohort that is comprised mainly of male subjects. However, it has been demonstrated that the severity and type (obstructive vs central) of the OSA in the WTC responders was not different from a general clinic population, suggesting generalizability of our findings, of the correlations and of our causal inferences [43]. Furthermore, other specific groups such as veterans, the elderly [44,45] and some general populations have been shown to have a similarly high prevalence of OSA and these co-morbid conditions, and we suggest that our inferences may apply to these groups also. Another potential limitation is that while OSA was objectively assessed in all subjects, all other variables were based on a combination of self-report diagnoses, questionnaire and certification data from the general WTC database with possibility of being overestimated. However, our prevalence estimates are similar to those reported in WTC rescue and recovery workers [46].

5. Conclusions

Our data highlight the high prevalence of sleep-related complaints and poor quality of sleep in WTC responders. Our results challenge the often accepted clinical practice that in a patient with sleep complaints, the most urgent treatment needs to be directed to any OSA found. While OSA undoubtedly produces sleep symptoms in some, the role of other frequently found comorbid conditions, including CRS, PTSD, Anxiety/Panic, Depression and GERD, should not be underestimated and perhaps pursued more aggressively earlier. Initial interventions in symptomatic patients with both OSA and comorbid conditions may need to be directed at sleep duration, insomnia or the comorbid condition in combination with intervention for OSA.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, I.A., K.B., D.M.R., S.-E.L. and J.S.; Data curation, I.A., Y.C., N.B., H.S., K.B. and A.T.; Formal analysis, I.A., Y.C., H.S., K.B. and S.-E.L.; Funding acquisition, I.A., D.M.R., S.-E.L. and J.S.; Investigation, N.B., H.S., K.B., and A.T.; Methodology, S.-E.L.; Project administration, I.A., and J.S.; Supervision, I.A., D.M.R., and J.S.; Visualization, Y.C., N.B., H.S., and S.-E.L.; Writing—original draft, I.A., N.B. and H.S.; Writing—review & editing, I.A., Y.C., N.B., H.S., K.B., A.T., D.M.R., S.-E.L. and J.S.


This study was funded by NIOSH/CDC U01OH010415 and NIH K24 grant HL109156 and in part by the NYU CTSA grant UL1 TR001445 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, contract and/or grant number(s) U10 OH008232 (DCC), 200-2011-39356 (Mount Sinai CCE) 200-2011-39385 (Rutgers CCE) and 200-2011-39384 (NYU CCE) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC/NIOSH.


We acknowledge Alan Perez, Jash Vakil, Emma Ducca, Tyler Gumb, Rohan Patel, Clarimel Cepeda, Namrata Kulkarni, Shahnaz Alimokhtari and Marta Hernandez who participated as research assistants, and the subjects who are enrolled in the WTCHP who participated in the study.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


OSAObstructive Sleep Apnea
BMIBody Mass Index
CIConfidence Interval
OROdds Ratio
CRSChronic Rhinosinusitis
GERDGastroesophageal Reflux Disorder
PTSDPost Traumatic Stress Disorder
WTCWorld Trade Center
FOSQFunctional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire
QOLQuality of Life
AHI4%Apnea Hypopnea (with 4% O2 desaturation) Index
RDIRespiratory Disturbance Index
SDBSleep Disordered Breathing
PAPPositive Airway Pressure


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Figure 1. Odds ratio and 95% CI for each comorbid condition as a risk factor for adverse sleep outcomes.
Figure 1. Odds ratio and 95% CI for each comorbid condition as a risk factor for adverse sleep outcomes.
Ijerph 16 01229 g001
Table 1. Demographics of the study participants.
Table 1. Demographics of the study participants.
VariableN of Valid DataSummary
Age (years, Mean ± SD)62652.8 ± 8.6
BMI (kg/m2, Mean ± SD)62629.9 ± 5.5
Female (%)626109 (17.3%)
Sleep Duration (h, Mean ± SD)
≥7 h (%)
6–6.99 h (%)
<6 h (%)
5886.4 ± 1.3
Snoring (Yes, %)626312 (49.8%)
Quality of Life (FOSQ) (Mean ± SD)
Good, ≥17 (%)
Poor, <17 (%)
56617.4 ± 2.6
Sleepiness (ESS, Mean ± SD)
Sleepy, >10 (%)
Not Sleepy, ≤10 (%)
6208.3 ± 4.8
Poor Sleep Quality (Yes, %)623441 (70.8%)
Sleep Onset Insomnia (Yes, %)609296 (48.6%)
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia (Yes, %)622116 (18.7%)
OSA + (%)
592443 (74.8%)
274 (46.3%)
112 (18.9%)
57 (9.6%)
CRS + (%)626295 (47.1%)
Depression + (%)612118 (19.3%)
PTSD + (%)612144 (23.5%)
Anxiety and Panic Disorder + (%)612144 (23.5%)
GERD + (%)564293 (52%)
Notes: BMI-Body Mass Index, ESS- Epworth sleepiness scores, FOSQ- Functional Outcome of Sleep Questionnaire, OSA-Obstructive Sleep Apnea, PSTD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, GERD- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Table 2. Comparison of demographic and sleep related variables in subjects with and without OSA, CRS, GERD, PTSD and Anxiety/Panic and Depression.
Table 2. Comparison of demographic and sleep related variables in subjects with and without OSA, CRS, GERD, PTSD and Anxiety/Panic and Depression.
Sleep Duration (h)Sleepiness (ESS)Quality of Life (FOSQ)AHI4%/hRDI/hPerception of Nasal Congestion at time of Visit
Mean ± SDN (%)Mean ± SDMean ± SDMean ± SDMean ± SDMedian (Q1, Q3)Median (Q1, Q3)Mean ± SD
N = 443
N = 149
53.5 ± 8.3
50.3 ± 8.8
58 (13.1%)
44 (29.5%)
30.7 ± 5.5
27.5 ± 4.8
6.4 ± 1.3
6.4 ± 1.3
8.4 ± 4.9
8.0 ± 4.5
17.4 ± 2.7
17.6 ± 2.5
11 (6, 19)
2 (1, 3)
26 (18, 37)
9 (8, 12)
6.8 ± 2.2
6.8 ± 2.2
N = 295
N = 331
52.9 ± 8.8
52.7 ± 8.4
46 (15.7%)
46 (18.8%)
30.3 ± 5.3 *
29.6 ± 5.7
6.3 ± 1.4 *
6.5 ± 1.2
9.2 ± 5.1
7.4 ± 4.5
16.7 ± 3.0
18.1 ± 2.1
9 (4, 17) *
6 (3, 15)
22 (15, 35)
19 (12, 32)
6.2 ± 2.2
7.3 ± 2.1
N = 293
N = 271
52.6 ± 8.0
52.9 ± 9.2
45 (15.4%)
54 (20%)
30.9 ± 6.1
28.8 ± 4.9
6.4 ± 1.3
6.4 ± 1.3
9.0 ± 5.0 Ɨ
7.7 ± 4.7
16.9 ± 2.9
18.0 ± 2.3
8 (4, 17)
7 (3, 14.5)
22 (15, 34)
20 (12, 32)
6.3 ± 2.2
7.4 ± 2.0
N = 144
N = 468
51.8 ± 8.0
53.1 ± 8.8
25 (17.4%)
82 (17.5%)
31.3 ± 6.2 Ɨ
29.5 ± 5.3
6.1 ± 1.5 *
6.5 ± 1.3
10.8 ± 5.3
7.5 ± 4.4
15.3 ± 3.4
18.1 ± 2.0
8 (4, 16)
7 (3, 16)
23 (14, 35)
20 (13, 33)
6.0 ± 2.2
7.0 ± 2.2
N = 144
N = 468
51.9 ± 8.3
53.1 ± 8.7
24 (16.7%)
83 (17.7%)
30.9 ± 5.8 *
29.6 ± 5.4
6.0 ± 1.4
6.5 ± 1.3
10.6 ± 5.2
7.5 ± 4.4
15.6 ± 3.4
18.0 ± 2.1
8 (4, 17)
7 (3, 15)
21 (14, 33)
20 (13, 33)
6.2 ± 2.3 Ɨ
7.0 ± 2.2
N = 118
N = 494
52.9 ± 8.3
52.8 ± 8.7
22 (18.6%)
85 (17.2%)
31.5 ± 6.8 *
29.5 ± 5.1
6.0 ± 1.4 Ɨ
6.5 ± 1.3
10.7 ± 5.4
7.7 ± 4.5
15.4 ± 3.4
17.9 ± 2.2
8 (4, 15)
7 (3, 16)
21 (13, 33)
20 (14, 33)
5.9 ± 2.3
7.0 ± 2.1
Notes: OSA-Obstructive Sleep Apnea, PSTD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, GERD- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease CRS- Chronic Rhinosinusitis. BMI-Body Mass Index, h-hour. Asterisk (*) denotes a p-value of <0.05. Cross (Ɨ) denotes a p-value of <0.01. Double dagger (‡) denotes a p-value of <0.0001.
Table 3. Proportion of subjects with sleep related complaints in subjects with and without each condition.
Table 3. Proportion of subjects with sleep related complaints in subjects with and without each condition.
Poor Sleep-Related Quality of LifeSleepinessPoor Sleep QualitySleep Onset InsomniaSleep Maintenance Insomnia
FOSQ < 17ESS > 10YesPresentPresent
N = 443
N = 149
172 (38.8%)
52 (34.9%)
136 (31.0%)
45 (30.2%)
315 (71.3%)
99 (66.4%)
207 (48.0%)
71 (48.6%)
81 (18.3%)
25 (16.9%)
N = 295
N = 331
146 (49.5%)
91 (27.5%)
116 (39.9%)
77 (23.5%)
232 (79.5%)
208 (63.0%)
162 (56.8%)
133 (41.2%)
76 (26.0%)
40 (12.12%)
N = 293
N = 271
132 (45.0%) Ɨ
85 (31.4%)
111 (37.9%) Ɨ
67 (25.1%)
231 (78.8%)
171 (63.3%)
153 (53.5%) Ɨ
114 (43.2%)
60 (20.6%)
45 (16.7%)
N = 144
N = 468
92 (63.9%)
138 (29.5%)
73 (51.0%)
117 (25.2%)
123 (85.4%)
310 (66.4%)
110 (78.0%)
184 (40.4%)
52 (36.1%)
62 (13.3%)
N = 144
N = 468
85 (59.0%)
145 (31.0%)
68 (47.6%)
122 (26.2%)
123 (86.0%)
310 (66.2%)
93 (66.4%)
201 (44.0%)
47 (32.6%)
67 (14.4%)
N = 118
N = 494
76 (64.4%)
154 (31.2%)
61 (52.1%)
129 (26.3%)
98 (83.8%) Ɨ
335 (67.8%)
83 (72.8%)
211 (43.7%)
39 (33.0%)
75 (15.2%)
Notes: Asterisk (*) denotes a p-value of <0.05. Cross (Ɨ) denotes a p-value of <0.01. Double dagger (‡) denotes a p-value of <0.0001.
Table 4. Odds ratio and 95% CI for presence of poor sleep-related quality of life (FOSQ < 17), sleepiness, poor quality sleep and insomnia in subjects with each condition compared to subjects without this condition.
Table 4. Odds ratio and 95% CI for presence of poor sleep-related quality of life (FOSQ < 17), sleepiness, poor quality sleep and insomnia in subjects with each condition compared to subjects without this condition.
Model 1Model 2Model 3
OR 195% CIOR 295% CIOR 395% CI
Poor Quality of Life (FOSQ < 17)OSA Severity
Mild OSA vs. No OSA1.21(0.80, 1.84)1.02(0.65, 1.59)0.87(0.51, 1.47)
Moderate OSA vs. No OSA1(0.60, 1.67)0.8(0.46, 1.41)0.73(0.36, 1.45)
Severe OSA vs. No OSA1.46(0.78, 2.72)0.98(0.50,1.95)1.09(0.48, 2.49)
CRS2.58 (1.85, 3.60)2.44 (1.72, 3.46)2.48 (1.62, 3.80)
GERD1.79 Ɨ(1.27, 2.53)1.80 Ɨ(1.24, 2.60)1.14(0.74, 1.76)
PTSD4.23 (2.85, 6.27)3.93 (2.60, 5.94)3.18 Ɨ(1.72, 5.9)
Anxiety/Panic3.21 (2.18, 4.72)2.87 (1.91, 4.29)1.18(0.66, 2.12)
Depression3.99 (2.62, 6.09)3.61 (2.33, 5.59)1.62(0.85, 3.11)
Sleepiness (ESS>10)OSA Severity
Mild OSA vs. No OSA1(0.65, 1.54)1.07(0.67, 1.71)0.9(0.53, 1.52)
Moderate OSA vs. No OSA1.08(0.63,1.84)1.2(0.67, 2.15)1.07(0.55, 2.08)
Severe OSA vs. No OSA1.16(0.60, 2.22)1.09(0.53, 2.24)0.97(0.42, 2.22)
CRS2.16 (1.53,3.06)1.93 Ɨ(1.34, 2.77)1.80 Ɨ(1.17, 2.76)
GERD1.82 Ɨ(1.27, 2.62)1.73 Ɨ(1.18, 2.55)1.2(0.78, 1.87)
PTSD3.10 (2.10, 4.58)2.71 (1.80, 4.09)1.64(0.89, 3.02)
Anxiety/Panic2.55 (1.73, 3.76)2.03 Ɨ(1.35, 3.06)1.12(0.63, 2.01)
Depression3.06 (2.02, 4.63)2.62 (1.70, 4.05)1.99(1.05, 3.76)
Poor Sleep QualityOSA Severity
Mild OSA vs. No OSA1.16(0.75, 1.77)1.21(0.75, 1.94)1.05(0.62, 1.78)
Moderate OSA vs. No OSA1.38(0.81,2.37)1.28(0.70, 2.36)1.04(0.51, 2.13)
Severe OSA vs. No OSA1.55(0.78,3.10)1.39(0.64, 3.04)1.31(0.55, 3.15)
CRS2.27 (1.58,3.25)2.20 (1.49,3.25)1.95 Ɨ(1.24, 3.07)
GERD2.16 (1.48,3.14)2.21 (1.46, 3.33)1.67 *(1.06, 2.64)
PTSD2.97 (1.80,4.90)2.45 Ɨ(1.44, 4.16)2.13(0.96, 4.76)
Anxiety/Panic3.13 (1.88,5.22)2.38 Ɨ(1.40, 4.06)1.49(0.71, 3.13)
Depression2.45 Ɨ(1.45, 4.14)1.96 *(1.13, 3.42)0.95(0.42, 2.14)
Sleep Onset InsomniaOSA Severity
Mild OSA vs. No OSA0.89(0.59, 1.33)0.79(0.52, 1.20)0.85(0.53, 1.38)
Moderate OSA vs. No OSA1.13(0.69,1.86)0.94(0.56, 1.57)0.96(0.51, 1.79)
Severe OSA vs. No OSA1.1(0.59,2.04)0.83(0.43, 1.61)1.05(0.49, 2.24)
CRS1.88 (1.36, 2.60)1.85 Ɨ(1.34, 2.55)1.63 *(1.10, 2.41)
GERD1.51 *(1.08, 2.12)1.44 *(1.02, 2.02)0.99(0.66, 1.47)
PTSD5.25 (3.38, 8.15)5.22 (3.34, 8.14)4.69 (2.49, 8.86)
Anxiety/Panic2.52 (1.70, 3.75)2.48 (1.66, 3.70)1.26(0.71, 2.23)
Depression3.45 (2.20, 5.41)3.31 (2.10, 5.20)0.98(0.50, 1.92)
Sleep Maintenance InsomniaOSA Severity
Mild OSA vs. No OSA1.1(0.65, 1.87)0.93(0.54, 1.60)0.85(0.46, 1.56)
Moderate OSA vs. No OSA1.07(0.56, 2.04)0.8(0.41, 1.58)0.56(0.25, 1.26)
Severe OSA vs. No OSA1.18(0.54, 2.58)0.78(0.34, 1.80)0.75(0.29, 1.95)
CRS2.54 (1.67, 3.87)2.49 (1.63, 3.81)2.41 Ɨ(1.44, 4.04)
GERD1.29(0.84, 1.98)1.2(0.77, 1.85)0.74(0.44, 1.24)
PTSD3.68 (2.39, 5.68)3.62 (2.33, 5.63)3.53 (1.82, 6.88)
Anxiety/Panic2.89 (1.87, 4.45)2.85 (1.83, 4.42)1.24(0.64, 2.37)
Depression2.74 (1.74, 4.33)2.57 (1.62, 4.09)1.06(0.52, 2.16)
Notes: Asterisk (*) denotes a p-value of <0.05. Cross (Ɨ) denotes a p-value of <0.01. Double dagger (‡) denotes a p-value of <0.0001; 1: Unadjusted odds ratio estimates. 2: For responses of “Poor quality of sleep”, “Sleepy” and “FOSQ”, the odds ratio estimates are adjusted for age, BMI and sleep duration; for responses of “Sleep onset Insomnia” and “Sleep Maintenance Insomnia”, the odds ratio estimates are adjusted for age and BMI. 3 For responses of “Poor quality of sleep”, “Sleepy” and “FOSQ”, the odds ratio estimates are adjusted for Age, BMI, gender, sleep duration, and all other comorbidities; for response “Sleep onset Insomnia” and “Sleep Maintenance Insomnia”, the odds ratio estimates are adjusted for age, BMI, gender and all other comorbidities.

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Ayappa, I.; Chen, Y.; Bagchi, N.; Sanders, H.; Black, K.; Twumasi, A.; Rapoport, D.M.; Lu, S.-E.; Sunderram, J. The Association between Health Conditions in World Trade Center Responders and Sleep-Related Quality of Life and Sleep Complaints. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1229.

AMA Style

Ayappa I, Chen Y, Bagchi N, Sanders H, Black K, Twumasi A, Rapoport DM, Lu S-E, Sunderram J. The Association between Health Conditions in World Trade Center Responders and Sleep-Related Quality of Life and Sleep Complaints. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(7):1229.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ayappa, Indu, Yingfeng Chen, Nisha Bagchi, Haley Sanders, Kathleen Black, Akosua Twumasi, David M. Rapoport, Shou-En Lu, and Jag Sunderram. 2019. "The Association between Health Conditions in World Trade Center Responders and Sleep-Related Quality of Life and Sleep Complaints" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 7: 1229.

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