More than 8 in 10 Hospital Patients at Risk for Sleep Apnea

A new Loyola University study has yielded some startling information.  Researchers say that according to their data, more than 80% of hospital patients are at high risk for sleep apnea, findings that suggest that hospitals should consider screening patients to identify those who are at high risk.

Researchers administered an eight-question obstructive sleep apnea screening questionnaire to patients during a single day at Loyola University Hospital.  Patients were excluded if they were on a breathing tube, on sedatives or had an altered mental status.  Of the 195 patients surveyed, 157, or 80.5 percent, were at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, meaning they answered “Yes” to at least three questions on the questionnaire.

The findings were reported during the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Vancouver, Canada.

During episodes of obstructive sleep apnea, breathing pauses as often as 30 times an hour, causing poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. About 5 percent of the general population is reported to have obstructive sleep apnea. The prevalence is likely higher due to increasing obesity.

Source: Loyola University