What percentage of the population has sleep apnea?

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults has mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 1 in 15 adults has moderate to severe OSA.  (reference: Young et al. Journal American Medical Association 2004). It could affect your friend, it could affect your relative, or it could affect you.

9% of middle-aged women and 25% of middle-aged men suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. (reference: Marshall et al. Sleep 2008).

To put this in perspective I would like to compare the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea to other common medical conditions.

The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is similar to asthma and diabetes which affects 20 million and 23.6 million of the United States population respectively. (reference: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008).

Eat healthy to lose weight & help your sleep apnea

Eat healthy to lose weight & help your sleep apnea

In addition 30%-83% of patients with hypertension have obstructive sleep apnea (reference: Logan et al. J Hypertens 2001 and Sjostrom et al. Thorax 2002).

Also 43% of patients with mild OSA and 69% of patients with severe OSA have hypertension (reference: Young et al. Sleep 2008).

Although studies have shown that sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for hypertension the American Health Association guidelines on drug-resistant hypertension have shown that treatment of sleep apnea with CPAP likely improves blood pressure control.

The prevalence between sleep-disordered breathing and other conditions certainly doesn’t sound good but the statistics get worse because next up are the stats about strokes.  Another statistic says that 65% of stroke patients have sleep-disordered breathing (reference: Medicare – $20.4 billion p.a.). And up to 70% of patients in rehabilitation therapy following stroke have significant SDB (AHI >10) (reference: Kuniyoshi et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008).

What amazing is that 75% of severe sleep-disordered breathing cases remain undiagnosed (reference: Young et al. Sleep 2008). This means millions of people are putting their health and lives at risk every time they go to sleep and this is why you owe it to yourself to get tested for sleep apnea.

If you are interested in what percentage of the population has sleep apnea then Click here to read about the rising prevalence of sleep apnea in the U.S.  and how it threatens public health


Please read our Sleep Apnea Blog to learn more about Sleep Apnea.

Educate yourself about sleep apnea and then educate the world to help save lives!