All about sleep apnea

Many people have sleep apnea, but may not even know it. In fact, sleep apnea affects more than 3 in 10 men and nearly 1 in 5 women, so it’s more common than you might think.*

"More than 85 % of sleep apnea patients are undiagnosed"

explains Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., a study co-author and ResMed’s chief medical officer.

“This raises their risk of workplace and road accidents, and can contribute to other significant health problems, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or even poor glucose control for diabetic patients. We know the risks and now we know the size of the problem. Addressing it starts with screening patients we know to be high-risk.”

Why is sleep apnea mostly undiagnosed?

With over 80% of obstructive sleep apnea cases currently undiagnosed, there are millions of people who don’t know they’re affected.1 They’ll repeatedly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more throughout the night, jerking awake to avoid suffocation before the cycle starts again. The disruptive cycle causes chronic sleep deprivation but most people don’t remember waking up. Instead, they assume they’re tired because they’re stressed or getting older. Or they end up being misdiagnosed with insomnia, migraines, chronic fatigue or other conditions.

The good news

The good news about sleep apnea is that if you have it, you’re not alone. There is something you can do about it, and you’ll feel much better after being treated for it.

* Sleep-disordered breathing affects 34% of men and 17% of women aged between 30-70.
Peppard et al. Increased Prevalence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 (5.17)

1. Young T, Evans L, Finn L, Patta M. Estimation of the clinically diagnosed proportion of sleep apnea syndrome in middle-aged men and women. Sleep 1997; 20: 705-706.