A new report from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine indicates that obstructive sleep apnea is a hidden health crisis in the United States.
It estimates that undiagnosed sleep apnea cost the U.S. about $150 billion in 2015. It also projects that sleep apnea afflicts 29.4 million men and women in the U.S.
The report estimates that untreated sleep apnea causes $87 billion in lost productivity each year. Sleep apnea also causes millions of dollars per year in work and auto accidents.
The report noted that sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Sleep apnea also raises the risk of diabetes and depression. Total health care and medication costs related to undiagnosed sleep apnea add up to $30 billion a year.
The AASM also released a companion report about sleep apnea treatment. It was based on a survey of more than 500 sleep apnea patients.
They reported that treating sleep apnea had a positive impact on their health and quality of life. They slept better and longer. They also were more productive and did not miss as many days of work. About 78 percent of patients said that sleep apnea treatment was a good investment.
“Patients often report that they feel like a new person after receiving treatment for sleep apnea,” said AASM President Dr. Ronald Chervin.
Warning signs for sleep apnea include snoring, choking and gasping during sleep. You can Stop the Snore by talking to a doctor about your risk for sleep apnea.
The reports were prepared by the global research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Download the free sleep apnea reports from the AASM website.