Objective: The study objective was to evaluate the association between cervical spondylosis (CS) and a subsequent diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in light of the expected constricting impact of CS-associated cervical spine changes on the pharyngeal airway space, a key contributor to OSA. Methods: Data were retrieved from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset. A total of 98,234 patients who newly received a diagnosis of OSA were identified. We identified four propensity score-matched controls per OSA patient (n = 392,936). Chi-square tests were used to compare cases and controls on sociodemographic characteristics, and multivariable logistic regression modelling to examine the association of OSA with prior CS. Results: Of the 98,234 sampled patients, 18,070 (18.4%) patients had a prior CS diagnosis, significantly different among cases compared to controls, being 18.4% and12.1%, respectively, p < 0.001. Logistic regression analysis showed an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of prior CS of 1.778 (95% confident interval (CI): 1.744–1.814) relative to controls. The adjusted odds of prior CS without myelopathy was 1.764 for cases relative to controls (95% CI: 1.727–1.801), and for prior CS with myelopathy (adjusted OR: 1.778, 95% CI: 1.721–1.837). Analysis stratified by age showed that in the 45–64- and >64-year age groups, the adjusted ORs of CS were 1.803 (95% CI: 1.758–1.850) and 1.634 (95% CI: 1.568–1.703), respectively, for cases relative to controls. Conclusions: Our results suggest that OSA is associated with prior CS. The results call for professionals to be alert to the possibility of subsequent development of OSA among patients with CS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Age
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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