Many women with obstructive sleep apnoea put off seeking diagnosis and treatment for the ailment, Canadian researchers say.
Early diagnosis and treatment of the condition can ease symptoms and help curb health-care costs, the study concluded.
Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.
Apnoea can be treated
The most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which provides a steady stream of pressurised air to patients to keep their airway open while they sleep.
In the study, researchers at the Sleep Disorders Centre at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, studied 414 women with obstructive sleep apnoea.
They found that the women's use of health-care services increased in the two years prior to their diagnosis, but then declined in the two years after diagnosis.
"Our results showed the sleep clinic evaluation (correcting diagnosis and recommending treatment) in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea may lead to a significant reduction in physician claims and ambulatory visits," study author Dr Katsuhisa Banno said in a prepared statement. "Early diagnosis and treatment of OSA may thus contribute to a significant cost savings to health-care systems," she added. – (HealthDayNews)
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