What are the health risks associated with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Charles E Morgan, DMD, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Studies have demonstrated that an apnea index of 20 or more, even in asymptomatic patients, is associated with an increased mortality rate. The author spends a significant amount of time educating patients about treatment options and the risks of untreated OSA (eg, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease). [3]  As an indication of the link between OSA and cardiovascular disease, a study by Jung et al reported that the severity of OSA, as measured via the respiratory disturbance index, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and least oxygen saturation, significantly correlates with C-reactive protein levels. [4]


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