Sleep Apnea in Asians vs. Caucasians

I've always suspected that Asians are much more susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea due to having smaller facial structures, and here's a study that supports my theory. Researchers in Hong Kong compared skeletal facial measurements between these two groups and found that although the average age and BMI were similar, Chinese subjects had much more severe obstructive sleep apnea (35% vs. 25%), and had significantly smaller facial bony measurements. However, Caucasians were significantly more overweight. For the same degree of obstructive sleep apnea, Caucasians were more overweight, and Chinese had more craniofacial bony restriction.


This explains why when Asian immigrants come to the US and begin eating Western foods, their rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease goes up significantly higher than rates for the general population. I remember reading a while ago that the ethnic Chinese population in Queens, NY has an epidemic of young children being overweight with much higher degrees of diabetes as they get older.


For those of you from Asian descent, do your parents snore? If so, do they have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease? Please enter your response in the comments box below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 thoughts on “Sleep Apnea in Asians vs. Caucasians

  1. I am a thin, young, asian female who has OSA due to my craniofacial features i.e. small jaws, narrow archway, overbite, receding chin.  I recently had mma surgery this past Jan. with great success.  My dad has severe OSA which is probably where i got it from.

  2. i am a thin asian/white 43 year old woman who has moderate osa, diagnosed last summer through a sleep study. i was told that my jaw needs to be moved, but am trying to avoid it by having sinus surgery (which i had in july), wearing breatherights, etc.. i feel like i’m sleeping better, but i have my follow-up sleep study next week, so we’ll see if i’ve improved. i tried the cpap, but i couldn’t get a mask that fit my face. my father (who’s asian) also has osa.

  3. so, is the incidence of Alzheimer’s also increased in Asians (vs. other races)? is the incidence different for American Asians vs. Asians who stayed in their country and did not change their diets?