Many patients with stroke also have sleep breathing disorders (SBD), most of which is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Sixty patients with a history of stroke aged under 55 years were included in our study. The demographic characteristics (age at stroke, sex, body mass index) of the patients and etiology of stroke was evaluated according to the Trial of Org 10712 in Acute Stroke (TOAST) classification. The National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) were used to evaluate functionality. All patients underwent polysomnography (PSG) investigations.
Based on PSG investigations, seven patients were normal, 10 had primary snoring, and 14 had mild, 11 had moderate, and 18 had severe OSA. The demographic characteristics did not differ significantly between the groups. No significant correlation was found between disease severity and NIHSS, MRS or TOAST classifications. Large artery atherosclerosis in the etiology, facial paralysis and dysarthria in the neurological examination, and brain stem involvement in the stroke location were observed to accumulate in the severe OSA group. When the anterior system, posterior system, and association of both were compared for vessel location, no significant difference was found regarding circulatory systems.
It is considered that SBD has also a role in the etiology of stroke in patients aged under 55 years, and it should be taken into consideration as much as other risk factors. This is the first study to emphasize the importance of this topic in the literature.

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