How does the incidence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) vary by age?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Aging is an important consideration of risk for OSA. OSA prevalence increases 2-3 times in older persons (>65 y) compared with individuals aged 30-64 years, [35, 36] with an estimated rate as high as 65% in a community sample of people older than 65 years. [37]

After age 65 years, no further relative disparity is noted in the incidence of OSA. One explanation for this plateau is the relative increase in mortality in persons older than 65 years; however, data to support this contention, as attractive as it appears, are insufficient. Scant data are available to help clinicians determine if clinical management should differ between the age cohorts.


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