To find out, answer these four simple, yes or no “STOP” questions:
S: Do you SNORE loudly (louder than talking or loud enough to be heard through closed doors)?
T: Do you often feel TIRED, fatigued, or sleepy during daytime?
O: Has anyone OBSERVED you stop breathing during your sleep?
P: Do you have or are you being treated for high blood PRESSURE?
You have a high risk of sleep apnea if you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions. You have a low risk if you answered “yes” to less than two questions.
The questionnaire has an even higher predictive value when you answer four more questions in the “STOP-Bang” version:
B: BMI more than 35 kg/m2?
A: Age over 50 yr old?
N: Neck circumference greater than 40 cm (15.75 in)?
G: Gender male?
You have a high risk of sleep apnea if you answered “yes” to three or more of the eight STOP-Bang questions. You have a low risk if you answered “yes” to less than three questions.
Why is this important? It is estimated that about 80 percent of men and 90 percent of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed. You could be one of these people.
The STOP-Bang tool was designed for people who are about to undergo surgery. You may have increased complications during surgery if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea.
But it is a useful tool that anyone can use. Yet no screening tool is perfect. And the only way to confirm that you have sleep apnea is with a sleep study. Contact an AASM-accredited sleep center near you for help.
Learn more about your risk for sleep apnea on SleepEducation.com.
Image by Brandi Tressler