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J Thorac Dis. 2015 May;7(5):897-902. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.06.11.

The use of an online pictorial Epworth Sleepiness Scale in the assessment of age and gender specific differences in excessive daytime sleepiness.

Journal of thoracic disease

Panagis Drakatos, Ramesh Ghiassi, Ian Jarrold, Judy Harris, Athar Abidi, Abdel Douiri, Nicholas Hart, Christopher Kosky, Adrian J Williams, Martyn R Partridge, Joerg Steier

Affiliations

  1. 1 Lane Fox Respiratory Unit/Sleep Disorders Centre, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK ; 2 Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK ; 3 British Lung Foundation, 73-75 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7ER, UK ; 4 King's College London, School of Medicine, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, London, UK ; 5 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK.

PMID: 26101646 PMCID: PMC4454854 DOI: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.06.11

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a non-specific but highly prevalent cardinal symptom of sleep disorders. We hypothesized that with modern media and an online pictorial Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) age and gender specific differences of EDS could be identified on a large scale. This could be helpful in the screening of patients with sleep disorders.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In 8,098 subjects, age and gender were recorded in addition to an online pictorial ESS (range 0-24 points). The cut-off for EDS (ESS >10 points) was chosen in line with the traditional ESS.

RESULTS: The prevalence of EDS was slightly higher in male subjects (45% vs. 43%, P=0.033). When age was considered, female subjects tended to be sleepier in their 3(rd) and 4(th) lifetime decade (P=0.01 and P=0.003, respectively), whilst male subjects scored significantly higher in their 7(th) decade (P<0.0001); there was a trend to more daytime symptoms with higher age (P for trend <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The online pictorial ESS identifies gender differences in EDS and reveals increased levels of sleepiness associated with higher age. The use of modern media facilitates reaching out to the general population to raise awareness of conditions associated with EDS such as sleep apnoea.

Keywords: Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS); Sleep apnoea; hypersomnia

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