SUBJECTIVE OBJECTIVES: To document healthcare utilization 2 years after diagnosis in women with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Design: Retrospective observational cohort study.
Setting: Tertiary university-based medical center.
Patients and controls: Four hundred and fourteen women with OSAS were matched with 1404 women from the general population who served as controls.
Interventions: Patients were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or were recommended weight loss alone.
Measurements and results: There were 231 treatment compliant (TC) patients, 91 patients not using CPAP (NCU), and 92 patients who were only recommended weight loss (WL). In the entire group, there was increase in fees of $123.43+/-$25.01 in the 2 years before diagnosis and a reduction of fees of $37.96+/-$21.35 in the 2 years after diagnosis (p < .0001). Physician claims increased in the 2 years before diagnosis by $111.22+/-31.35 in TC and by $152.77+/-59.55 in the NCU groups and then decreased in TC by $20.96+/-$26.60 (p < .01) and NCU by $72.20 +/-45.91 in the 2 years after diagnosis (p < .01). The fees in WL group did not change significantly. The number of clinic visits of the entire group increased in the 2 years before diagnosis by 2.32+/-0.43 and decreased over the next 2 years by 1.48+/-0.42 visits (p < .0001). There was an increase of clinic visits in the 3 subgroups in the 2 years before diagnosis (2.30+/-0.57 in TC, 2.55+/-0.99 in NCU, and 2.18+/-0.82 in WL groups) followed by a reduction of clinic visits over the next 2 years (1.56+/-0.55 fewer visits in TC [p < .0001], 1.70+/-0.90 in NCU [p < .01], and 1.04+/-0.90 in the WL group [p < .05] ).
Conclusions: Healthcare utilization in women with OSAS increased in the years before sleep-clinic evaluation and then decreased in the following 2 years.