What is the mortality rate for sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Mar 22, 2019
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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The effect of OSA on mortality has been investigated using observational cohort studies. Marin et al found in a Spanish cohort that severe untreated OSA (AHI >30) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, defined by fatal myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke. [46] Patients with mild OSA or those undergoing treatment with CPAP did not have a significantly increased odds ratio compared with a group of subjects without OSA. [46]

In this study, the authors also found that untreated severe OSA is a significant risk factor for the development of cardiovascular morbidity, which included nonfatal MI and stroke.

Two 2008 population-based studies, one from the United States [47] and one from Australia, [48] also showed increased all-cause mortality in subjects with moderate-to severe OSA. The adjusted hazard ratios in both studies ranged from 3-6.24 for subjects with moderate-to-severe disease compared with no disease.

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