The Count on Sleep partnership has released a report that addresses obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), offering an analysis of the symptoms, risk factors, prevalence, and burden of the condition.
The report is intended to be a resource for both the public and healthcare communities regarding the importance of early diagnosis and long-term treatment options. The endeavor was supported by a $704,000 grant awarded to the organization by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) under the auspices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
The report was written in collaboration with the following organizations:
- The Alliance of Sleep Apnea Partners
- The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
- The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
- The American College of Chest Physicians
- The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
- The American Thoracic Society
- The National Sleep Foundation
Nearly 30 million Americans have OSA. Eighty percent of cases are undiagnosed, the AASM said in a statement. If OSA is not treated, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. It also carries substantial healthcare costs: 23.5 million cases of undiagnosed OSA incur $149.6 billion annually due to greater use of healthcare resources, increased car and workplace accidents, and reduced work productivity, according to the AASM.
The main obstacles to the diagnosis and treatment of OSA include a lack of adequate public awareness about the condition, which is partly what prompted the report.
“Through this report, we can increase awareness of obstructive sleep apnea with patients, health workers, public health officials, regulators, and others to spur prompt diagnosis and management, allowing patients to reap the many benefits of treatment,” said Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula of Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, who is chair of the Count on Sleep's Tool Development and Surveillance Workgroup.