OSA is common sleep disorder gaining increased recognition and attention. OSA is prevalent in both children (1-5%) and adults (10-30%). OSA is more prevalent in men (22%) than women (17%) and the risk of developing OSA increases with advancing age and higher body mass index (BMI).6
There are predisposing risk factors for OSA which include maxillary and/or mandibular hypoplasia, macroglossia, tonsillar hypertrophy, Mallampati classification and a narrow oropharyngeal airway and endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism. However a commonly used screener for assessing OSA risk involves the STOP-Bang mnemonic.
S – Snoring
T – Tiredness
O – Observed apnea
P – Pressure; blood pressure elevated
B – BMI > 35 kg/m
A – Age > 50 years
N – Neck circumference; > 17” for males or 16” for females
G – Gender, male
OSA - Low Risk : Yes on 0 - 2 questions
OSA - High Risk : Yes on 3 or more questions
A recent study found that patients with a STOP-Bang score of 3 had a 25% probability of a severe OSA. For each additional STOP-Bang point there was another 10% increase in severe OSA probability.7 STOP-Bang does not diagnose patients with OSA, however it triggers a need for a sleep referral and an eventual sleep study, which is the gold standard in diagnosing the presence of OSA and other sleep disorders.
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