Associations between macronutrient intake and obstructive sleep apnoea as well as self-reported sleep symptoms: Results from a cohort of community dwelling Australian men

Yingting Cao, Gary Wittert, Anne W. Taylor, Robert Adams, Zumin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: macronutrient intake has been found to affect sleep parameters including obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in experimental studies, but there is uncertainty at the population level in adults. Methods: cross-sectional analysis was conducted of participants in the Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress cohort (n = 784, age 35–80 years). Dietary intake was measured by a validated food frequency questionnaire. Self-reported poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness were measured by questionnaires. Overnight in-home polysomnography (PSG) was conducted among participants with without previously diagnosed OSA. Results: after adjusting for demographic, lifestyle factors, and chronic diseases, the highest quartile of fat intake was positively associated with excessive daytime sleepiness (relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.78, 95% CI 1.10, 2.89) and apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) ≥20, (RRR = 2.98, 95% CI 1.20–7.38). Body mass index mediated the association between fat intake and AHI (30%), but not daytime sleepiness. There were no associations between other intake of macronutrient and sleep outcomes. Conclusion: high fat is associated with daytime sleepiness and AHI. Sleep outcomes are generally not assessed in studies investigating the effects of varying macronutrient diets on weight loss. The current result highlights the potential public health significance of doing so.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 8 Apr 2016


  • Apnoea hypopnea index
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Fat intake
  • Macronutrient intake
  • Polysomnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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