Sleep-Disordered Breathing

SDB is any abnormal respiration during sleep, including snoring, lapses in breathing (apneas) and reduced airflow (hypopneas). It is estimated that more than 100 million people globally are affected by SDB, and nearly 90 percent of that population does not receive treatment.[1], [2]

At least 26 percent of the adult population has OSA, the most prevalent form of SDB.[3] OSA occurs when a person’s upper airway collapses during sleep, causing the sufferer to stop breathing. It also prevents the proper amount of oxygen from reaching the heart and brain. In an attempt to start oxygen flow, the brain triggers the patient to wake up; OSA patients may wake up hundreds of times a night. This prevents them from getting restful sleep, strains their cardiovascular system and could impact the brain..[4]

Those with untreated OSA may fall asleep at work or while driving, and many exhibit mood disorders. In addition to the decreased quality of life caused by OSA symptoms, sleep apnea is at the center of major chronic diseases. Research suggests that sleep apnea worsens these conditions by disrupting sleep and straining the heart.[5]


[1] Over 100 million people globally are affected by Sleep Apnea Syndrome”

World Health Organization,

[2] Young T, Peppard E, and Gottlieb D. Epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea: a population health perspective. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002;165:1217-1239

[3] Peppard et al. Increased prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in adults.  Am J Epidemiology 2013 (5.17) 

[4] Young 2002: 1223.

[5] Obstructive sleep apnea and the risk of sudden cardiac death: A longitudinal study of 10,701 adults. (Gami et al., 2013 J Am Coll Cardiol.)]