Objective: To determine the prevalence of symptoms evocative of obstructive sleep apnea (SE-OSA) and the magnitude of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) underdiagnosis.
Methods: We used data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2008 in a representative sample of the French general population. Data were collected through interviews and self-administrated questionnaires and were complete for 12,203 adults (≥16 years old). SE-OSA was defined by snoring almost every night plus witnessed apneas or excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale score>10).
Results: The prevalence of SE-OSA was 4.9% (95% CI: 4.5-5.3), and that of self-reported OSA diagnosis was 2.4% (2.1-2.7). The prevalence of SE-OSA was 8% among people with hypertension and 11% among obese people. A previous sleep monitoring session was reported by 2.7% (2.4-3.0) of the participants and by 15.1% of people with SE-OSA. This latter proportion increased with age (24% in people with SE-OSA aged 60 years or over) and was higher in obese people (26%) and in those with chronic diseases (27% among people with hypertension).
Conclusion: The prevalence of SE-OSA is high in France and OSA remains underdiagnosed, even in people with obesity or hypertension. Further efforts are needed to improve the diagnosis of OSA.
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