Prevalence of Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Hospitalized Internal Medicine Patients in a Rural Academic Medical Center




obstructive sleep apnea, screening, STOPBANG survey


Purpose: This study aims to determine the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea risk within hospitalized patients utilizing the STOPBANG questionnaire, evaluate patient interest in follow-up testing and determine the factors that influence their interest in follow-up. Methods: A researcher approached eligible patients hospitalized at a tertiary hospital, explained the study, and acquired verbal consent. They administered the STOPBANG questionnaire, discussed participants’ risk, and provided information about follow-up polysomnography. Results: Of 335 patients approached, 121 patients were excluded and 60 (17.9%) were already diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Of the 154 participants screened, 42.2%, 35.7% and 22.1% were at low, intermediate and high risk of obstructive sleep apnea, respectively. Of those at intermediate to high risk, 44 expressed interest in following up with polysomnography and 32 were not interested. Older patients were less likely to express interest in follow-up (OR 0.098 95% CI: 0.012-0.893) and patients that reported snoring were more likely to express interest in follow-up (OR 3.15 CI: 1.14-8.75). Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of intermediate to high obstructive sleep apnea risk (57.8%) in undiagnosed patients in a rural tertiary care center. Younger patients were 10 times more likely to consider polysomnography (PSG), which supports arguments for early screening for obstructive sleep apnea. Snorers were 3 times more likely to consider PSG, which may reflect the narrow focus of public awareness of obstructive sleep apnea.