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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Current Topics in Sleep Medicine: New Diagnostic Tools, Advanced Surgical Options, and Evaluating Benefits of Surgery

On-Demand Session / International Symposium

Jae Hoon Cho, MD, PhD, MPH

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects 4-8% of men and 2-5% of women, according to Jae Hoon Cho, MD, PhD, MPH, of Konkuk University Hospital in Seoul in the Republic of Korea. As obesity increases, so does the prevalence of OSA—and OSA may also be related to cardiovascular complications, neurologic disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Unfortunately though Dr. Cho said OSA is difficult to evaluate. “It’s hard to get a sufficient number of patients in a single hospital,” he said, particularly for surgical cases. And long-term follow-up in OSA patients is not always reliable.

In an effort to obtain more data regarding OSA, Dr. Cho studied claims data collected by the Korea National Health Insurance System, through which nearly 52 million people are insured, and long-term statistics are available.

Reviewing the data, Dr. Cho subsequently linked OSA to cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and breast cancer—but there may be an option for reducing these exacerbations.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical treatment option for OSA, and while Dr. Cho said it’s not always recommended everywhere due to pain levels and a success rate of about 40%, he said the treatment option is widely practiced in Korea, and may have a hand in preventing the occurrence of diseases associated with OSA.

For children with refractory OSA following adenotonsillectomy, other treatment options exist. Orthodontic treatment, positive pressure ventilation, drug-induced sleep endoscopy, hypoglossal nerve stimulation, supraglottis, and more could be preferable in pediatric patients, said Robert H. Chun, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Overall, the treatment of OSA remains a choice for physicians to make based on individual patient situations; more data over time may help to make preferences clearer.

This session was originally presented live on Sunday, September 13, but is now available in the on-demand library of education content.