Mr. Magoo had obstructive sleep apnea

Sunday, March 31, 2002

CLEVELAND, Ohio - People with round heads face a greater risk of sleep apnea and chronic snoring than those with thin faces, researchers from Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University have found.

Researchers compared the head shapes of 60 people who snore and 60 others with no history of snoring. They created a "craniofacial risk index" using X-rays to measure the distance from teeth to esophagus, nose to nasal passage and cheek to jaw.

"As the head gets relatively wider, the airway becomes relatively narrower from front to back," making apnea and snoring more likely, said Dr. Mark Hans, chair of orthodontics at Case Western's School of Dentistry. "Mr. Magoo. He sort of was the classic, as he was always snoring and falling asleep at work, and he had the round head."

If the craniofacial index proves useful, it could serve as a screening tool to determine if someone should undergo costly
testing for sleep apnea, Dr. Steven Feinsilver, a sleep specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., told the Associated Press.

"What everyone is trying to figure out is predicting who has sleep apnea and who doesn't," Feinsilver said. "You can't take everyone who snores and bring them to the sleep lab. That's 40% of the population." HME