Many Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Not Being Treated

HealthDay News — Many patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are not being treated, with only 42% reporting adherence to positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment, according to research published in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Jonathon O. Russell, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review in an academic hospital to determine the subsequent management of patients with a diagnosis of OSA. Six hundred sixteen patients met inclusion criteria.

The researchers found that 42% of patients had documented adherence to PAP. Thirty-five percent of 241 untreated patients were referred for further attempts at management of diagnosed OSA. Almost half of the patients did not have continued treatment or referral for diagnosed OSA.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to define the subsequent management of patients who have failed or refused PAP,” the authors write. “Despite the known sequelae of OSA, clinicians are not treating a significant percentage of patients with diagnosed OSA.”


Russell JO, Gales J, Bae C, Kominsky A. Referral Patterns and Positive Airway Pressure Adherence upon Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;153(5):881-7.