Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome are two diseases often coexist in one person. The sleep apnea is often caused by an interruption of breathing during sleep due to obstruction of the upper airway during inhalation, causing the sufferer chronic snoring, morning headaches, increased body weight, blood pressure and sleepiness during the day.
Aim: The purpose of this study is the identification of the problem among the elderly people living in the Attica Basin.
Materials and Methods: Material of the study were 500 people, including 274 men and 226 women. The data collection took place by using an anonymous questionnaire specialized in identifying patients with apnea, after a personal interview with the researcher. The processing and imaging carried out, using the statistical package SPSS 17.
Results: The men who took part in the survey have a precedence over women, 54.8% versus 45.2%. Based on their responses to the questionnaires, it was found that 98.0% of the participants have abnormal sleepiness during the day. The 35.4% of them show no apnea, while 36.0% of the sample has sleep apnea but in normal levels. It is important though, the fact that about 1 out of 3 seniors, 28.6%, shows sleep apnea in a high risk level.
Conclusions: COPD is a complex disease that occurs in a large proportion of the elderly. Emphasis should be given on early diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea syndrome, in order to improve the quality of life of the elderly.
Key Words: COPD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Daily Sleepiness.