Systemic Lupus Erythematous and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Possible Association

Roni Meidan*, Ofir Elalouf, Riva Tauman, Victoria Furer, Ari Polachek, Jonathan Wollman, Tali Eviatar, Michael Zisapel, David Levartovsky, Estelle Seyman, Ori Elkayam, Daphna Paran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marked fatigue is common in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study aimed to assess the association of sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), with SLE. Forty-two consecutive patients with SLE and 20 healthy controls were recruited and underwent a one-night ambulatory sleep examination. They completed questionnaires, including the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT). SLE disease activity and damage were assessed by the SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology (SLICC/ACR) damage index (SDI). A significantly increased apnea/hypopnea index was noted in the SLE group compared to healthy controls (p = 0.004). SLE patients had higher rates of moderate-to-severe OSA (p = 0.04), PSQI (p = 0.001), and FACIT scores (p = 0.0008). Multivariate analysis revealed that the SDI was associated with OSA (p = 0.03). There was a positive association between SLEDAI-2K and moderate-to-severe OSA (p = 0.03). Patients with SLE had an increased prevalence of OSA and poorer quality of sleep compared to healthy controls. Our findings suggest that active disease and accumulated damage may be associated with OSA. These findings highlight the importance of identifying the presence of OSA in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • WatchPAT
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • sleep-disordered breathing
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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