Background: No data on snoring prevalence obtained with a standard questionnaire exist for France. Major nose-throat abnormalities have been demonstrated in cases with obstructive sleep apnea; evidence of ‘minor’ abnormalities in community studies is scarce. Objectives: The fist objective of our study was to estimate the prevalence of habitual snoring in a sample of middle-aged active males in France. The second objective was to test the hypothesis that ‘minor’ nose-throat abnormalities could be associated with habitual snoring in a field survey. Methods: Three hundred thirty-four male employees of a local university volunteered for the study (93.6% of those contacted by mail); 300 returned a sleep questionnaire. The protocol also included anthropometry and a noninvasive nose-throat examination. Results: Complete data were obtained in 299 subjects aged 23–63 years. When ‘habitual snorers’ (= 32%) were compared with never-snorers, significant differences were found for all anthropometric variables, except height. In univariate analysis, habitual snoring was associated with a large number of variables, including a large soft palate, a large uvula, and altered nose patency. A logistic regression model retained 8 factors independently associated with snoring: age, neck circumference, tobacco consumption, breathing pauses during sleep, not feeling rested during the day, need for coffee to stay awake, blocked or running nose at night and a large soft palate. Conclusions: The prevalence of habitual snoring in this sample of middle-aged French males was 32%. We confirmed the significant association of habitual snoring with age, weight excess, and tobacco smoking, and identified two further factors: blocked nose at night and a large soft palate.

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