Obstructive sleep apnea has the potential to reduce people’s quality of life. In January 2017, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released recommendations on screening for obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive impairment, decreased quality of life, and motor vehicle crashes. Due to a decrease in airflow and oxygenation during sleep, patients with obstructive sleep apnea often experience daytime sleepiness which may interfere with their productivity or activities of daily living.
In January 2017, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released recommendations in screening for obstructive sleep apnea. The task force reviewed 76 clinical trials which examined the effect of different screening and treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea, as well as patient outcomes such as improvement in quality of sleep, appearance of cardiovascular and cerebral events, and morality. After reviewing the trials, the USPSTF report the following:
1) There is no evidence that screening for obstructive sleep apnea among people who do not present with any symptoms is beneficial.
2) Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and mandibular advancement devices help improve the quality of sleep among symptomatic patients.
3) There is no sufficient evidence that surgical intervention as treatment for obstructive sleep apnea improves patient outcomes.
Overall, there is insufficient evidence to show that current screening interventions among asymptomatic patients would benefit or harm future outcomes. Thus, USPSTF cannot make any conclusions with regards to the benefits and harms of screening for obstructive sleep apnea among asymptomatic adults.
Written By: Karla Sevilla