Noninvasive ventilation in New Zealand: a national prevalence survey

Intern Med J. 2022 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/imj.15960. Online ahead of print.


Background: Home-based noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is an effective treatment for a range of conditions that cause respiratory failure which reduces hospitalisation and mortality and improves quality of life.

Aims: To collect NIV prevalence, disease burden and equity data needed for effective national NIV health service planning.

Methods: The authors collected demographics and the primary diagnosis of patients receiving publicly funded NIV in New Zealand in 2018 by surveying all providers. National and regional prevalence rates were calculated using adult population data (aged ≥20 years) for each District Health Board region compared with a 2011 study. A subanalysis of individual-level data was used to calculate age-standardised rates by diagnostic category.

Results: A total of 1197 adults were receiving NIV giving a national rate of 32.9 per 100 000; almost twice the 2011 rate (16.7 per 100 000). Significant regional variations in NIV provision (4.5-84.2 per 100 000) were observed. The most frequent indications were obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) (562, 47%), obstructive pathologies (335, 28%) and neuromuscular disorders (175, 15%); all have significantly increased in prevalence since 2011. Māori and Pacific peoples were significantly overrepresented among NIV users (2.24 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.72-2.93] and 7.03 [95% CI, 5.52-8.94], respectively). The prevalence of NIV-dependent use (>15 h/day) was 4%.

Conclusions: Home-based NIV provision has doubled since the previous survey, reflecting increased burden from OHS and obstructive pathologies and a disproportionate disease burden among Māori and Pacific populations. The large regional variations are concerning and highlight the urgent requirement for national service specifications, education and equipment provision. Further research is needed to address access equity.

Keywords: New Zealand; noninvasive ventilation prevalence.