Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Sayed K. Ali

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Jasmit Shah

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Jumma Bwika


AKU-East Africa


Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of breathing problem during sleep caused by the blockage of the upper airway, which can cause a reduction or complete cessation of airflow. Warning signs of OSA include snoring, night sweats, and high blood pressure. However, there is limited research on the prevalence of OSA in hypertensive patients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study purposed to elucidate the likelihood and clinical characteristics of OSA among hypertensive patients at a tertiary hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study occurred at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 251 hypertensive patients were screened for OSA risk using the STOP-BANG questionnaire (SBQ) and the Berlin questionnaire (BQ). Patients with an SBQ score of ≥ 3 were categorized as an intermediate-high risk for OSA, while those with positives in two or more categories of the BQ were classified as high-risk for OSA. Descriptive statistics were employed to describe both categorical and continuous variables.

Results: The study reported that 78.5% of the participants were identified as having intermediate-high-risk OSA using the SBQ, while 26.3% had high-risk OSA, according to the BQ’. The median age and Body Mass Index (BMI) were 57.0 years and 28.3 kg/m2, respectively. The results also indicated that age, neck circumference, gender, and BMI were significantly higher in the high-risk group than in the low-risk group. Moreover, patients in the intermediate-high-risk group were more likely to have resistant hypertension compared to those in the low-risk group.

Conclusion: The study showed that SBQ is more sensitive than BQ for screening OSA in hypertensive patients in clinical settings, particularly in low- and middle-income Countries (LMICs). Healthcare providers can use patient characteristics such as age, gender, neck circumference, and BMI to identify those at greater risk of developing OSA. Further research could focus on developing effective OSA prevention and treatment interventions in hypertensive patients.