Management of obstructive sleep apnea in adults: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 2013 Oct 1;159(7):471-83. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-7-201310010-00704.


Description: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults.

Methods: This guideline is based on published literature from 1966 to September 2010 that was identified by using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. A supplemental MEDLINE search identified additional articles through October 2012. Searches were limited to English-language publications. The clinical outcomes evaluated for this guideline included cardiovascular disease (such as heart failure, hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction), type 2 diabetes, death, sleep study measures (such as the Apnea-Hypopnea Index), measures of cardiovascular status (such as blood pressure), measures of diabetes status (such as hemoglobin A1c levels), and quality of life. This guideline grades the evidence and recommendations using ACP's clinical practice guidelines grading system.

Recommendation 1: ACP recommends that all overweight and obese patients diagnosed with OSA should be encouraged to lose weight. (Grade: strong recommendation; low-quality evidence)

Recommendation 2: ACP recommends continuous positive airway pressure treatment as initial therapy for patients diagnosed with OSA. (Grade: strong recommendation; moderate-quality evidence)

Recommendation 3: ACP recommends mandibular advancement devices as an alternative therapy to continuous positive airway pressure treatment for patients diagnosed with OSA who prefer mandibular advancement devices or for those with adverse effects associated with continuous positive airway pressure treatment. (Grade: weak recommendation; low-quality evidence).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mandibular Advancement
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Obesity*
  • Orthodontic Appliances
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control