[General practice management of obstructive sleep apnea in the Midi-Pyrénées]

Rev Mal Respir. 2007 Mar;24(3 Pt 1):289-97. doi: 10.1016/s0761-8425(07)91060-8.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a significant public health problem. In the French care system general practitioners have an important role to play in its management especially in the field of early diagnosis.

Methods: The first part of this work is a descriptive case-control study looking at health resource usage of OSAS patients treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the MidiPyrénées area. The second part is a descriptive study which involved by interviewing 100 general practitioners settled in the area in order to evaluate their knowledge and their practice regarding OSAS. Results were compared with a previous study (1) performed in 2002 with similar methodology.

Results: Our results confirm that OSAS remains to a large extent undiagnosed (mean OSAS patients was less than 6 per physician) and underline the close connection between OSAS and cardiovascular diseases. A low degree of knowledge concerning the symptoms, main complications and treatment of OSAS was observed in this group of physicians. There was, however a relative improvement in the answers compared to the study performed in 2002. Two or more complications were mentioned by 67% of practitioners (33% in 2002) and only 13% of them were unable to identify at least one possible complication of OSAS (50% in 2002).

Conclusion: This study confirms the impact on health of OSAS, characterized by a higher consumption of various medications than in non OSAS patients. Knowledge of OSAS remains low in general practitioner population in France. An important effort has to be made to improve learning of this disease by continuous medical training and during initial medical course.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Clinical Competence
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires