SOURCE: American College of Physicians

American College of Physicians

September 23, 2013 17:30 ET

American College of Physicians Releases New Recommendations for Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

ACP Recommends Weight Loss and CPAP as Initial Therapy for Treatment

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2013) - People diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should lose weight and use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as initial therapy, according to new recommendations from the American College of Physicians (ACP) published in Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP's flagship journal.

The available evidence was limited on treating OSA with surgery, which is associated with serious adverse events and should not be used as initial treatment.

More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, which increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and diabetes; and increases the chance of a driving or other accidents. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

The most common type of sleep apnea is OSA, a condition in which the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep causing shallow breathing or breathing pauses lasting from a few seconds to minutes. The evidence shows that the incidence of OSA is rising, likely because of the increasing rates of obesity.

ACP recommends a mandibular advancement device (MAD) as an alternative therapy for patients who prefer it or who do not tolerate or comply with CPAP treatment.

The guidelines include advice to help physicians practice high value care. Physicians should stress the importance of complying with treatments, especially CPAP. Doctors should also weigh patient preferences and the likelihood of therapy adherence against costs before initiating CPAP treatment.

Note: ACP's recommendations are the subject of a video news story. You can view and download the video in HD and SD from http://media.dssimon.com/acp81.

About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (www.acponline.org) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 137,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/acpinternists) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/acpinternists).

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