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STUDY: Chest 1995 May;107(5):1289-93
Snoring, family history, and genetic markers in men. The Copenhagen Male Study.
Jennum P, Hein HO, Suadicani P, Sorensen H, Gyntelberg F
BACKGROUND: No studies have attempted to examine the genetic influence on the habit of snoring. The aim of the present study was to examine whether an association existed between self-reported snoring and family history of snoring and a number of genetic markers. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The data were derived from a primarily cardiovascular disease cohort study of 3,387 men aged 54 to 74 years. A number of sleep-related questions were included. Some 3,308 men had given valid questionnaire information on snoring and whether they had their own bedroom due to snoring and were regarded eligible for the present study. Men who reported that they snored often or always were considered habitual snorers, and those who reported that they seldom or never snored were considered nonsnorers. We considered habitual snorers who reported that they had their own bedroom due to snoring to be a group with a presumably more severe form of snoring. Information about other health and lifestyle parameters was obtained from a comprehensive questionnaire. A saliva sample was taken for determination of ABH secretor status. RESULTS: There was a strong relationship between habitual snoring and family history of snoring among grandparents, parents, siblings, and children. Looking at habitual snorers only, the factors most strongly separating those with their own bedroom due to snoring from those without, were the Lewis blood group phenotype, Le(a+b-). CONCLUSION: There was an overall strong association between habitual snoring and family history of snoring and non-secretor status and snoring. The results of this study indicate that snoring, to some extent, is hereditary.
COMMENTARY: This study looked at chronic snoring secondary to an analysis of cardiovascular risk, simply by including a few questions about sleep habits in the original questionaire given to participants. When the results were tabulated, it was found that ABO non-secretors (those individuals who cannot secrete their blood type in their body fluids) had a higher incidence of snoring, qualified by the fact that they had their own bedrooms!
There are good associations linking non-secretor status to many chronic low grade infections, including Candida yeast infections, and having a higher grade of inflammatory response to chronic infection. Thus the link between non-secretor status and snoring may well be the result of chronic nasal and sinus infection and resultant changes due to incessant inflammation.