Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rising prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is becoming more common in the U.S. When I was a sleep disorders fellow, it was thought that OSA occurred in 2% of women and 4% of men. This article highlights how the rates of OSA have increased in the past two decades. Apparently, OSA now is present in at least 25 million adults in the U.S. and in 26% of adults between the ages of 30 and 70 years old.

The article discusses the complications of untreated OSA too. It does not discuss why the prevalence rates have risen. I suspect more public awareness of the symptoms, more acceptable treatment options, rising obesity rates, and aging population contribute to the increase in OSA rates.

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