Treatment and lifestyle changes can help people with OSA. However, the new study also shows that only a small percentage of people with OSA symptoms are diagnosed and receive help for the condition.
The study included data on 20,151 French adults. The researchers recorded how many participants were diagnosed with OSA. They also used a questionnaire to measure how many participants may have undiagnosed OSA. The survey focused on heavy snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness (the two most common OSA symptoms), high blood pressure, and obesity (2).✔ ✔Reliable Source
Prevalence, treatment and determinants of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its symptoms in a population-based French cohort
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The researchers then used this data to calculate the proportion of the French population likely to be affected by OSA. They found that nearly one in five (20.2%) were highly likely to have OSA, and only 3.5% had been treated for the condition.
Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea
OSA was more common in men who were older, had cardiovascular disease, had low socioeconomic status or were less physically active, smoked, and had symptoms of depression. Women had a higher risk of OSA remaining undiagnosed.
The study was led by Dr. Pauline Balagny from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris-Citre in France. He said: “We know that OSA is a major health threat, but if patients are diagnosed with the condition, they can be given treatment and advice to reduce their risks. Our research shows that OSA is common, but the majority of those affected do not know they have the condition. .
“Our findings are consistent with studies in other countries showing a higher prevalence of OSA.”
The main strength of this study is that it is based on a large group of people that is representative of the French population. A weakness is that the study relied on a questionnaire to measure the likelihood of OSA rather than testing participants in a sleep clinic.
Professor Winfried Randerat, head of sleep-disordered breathing at the European Respiratory Society Assembly, who was not involved in the study, said: “We need to raise awareness of OSA because people can be given treatment and advice once they are diagnosed and at risk of other serious conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Dr. Balagny and his colleagues will continue to study the relationship between OSA symptoms and cardiovascular disease. They are also investigating whether screening for OSA can help heart attack patients.
- Sleep Apnea – (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631)
- Prevalence, treatment and determinants of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its symptoms in a population-based French cohort – (https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/early/2023/03/23/23120541.00053-2023)