Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sleep Apnea Risks Common among Hospital Patients

A large number of hospital patients may have a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a new study suggests. A survey conducted at Loyola University Health System found that more than 80 percent of respondents experienced some of the common warning signs of sleep-disordered breathing.

The results of the study don’t necessarily mean all of these people have sleep apnea. The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is through an overnight sleep study, conducted by a sleep medicine specialist. Instead the study indicates that these people reported some of the following risk factors:

• Loud snoring and/or pauses in breathing
• Daytime Fatigue
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Thick neck circumference
• More than 50 years of age
• Male Gender

157 out of 195 patients indicated they had at least three of the risk factors. Only 41 were evaluated in an overnight sleep lab. Doctors discovered 31 had obstructive sleep apnea.

Although sleep apnea is one of the more common sleep disorders, the rate reported in the study is abnormally high. This may be due to old age, obesity or overall poor health of hospital patients.

Read more about Obstructive Sleep Apnea at

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