OSA is the most common disease among the collection of sleep-related breathing disorders, estimated to affect up to 5% of the general United States adult population (5). Prevalence estimates from different studies are often difficult to compare, due to conflicting disease definitions. In a large U.S. community-based study, the prevalence of OSA, defined by an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of at least five obstructive events per hour, was found to be nearly three times higher in men than in women in an American middle-aged adult population (24% vs. 9%), and the combination of an AHI of at least five obstructive events per hour and daytime hypersomnolence is twice as common in men than in women (4% vs. 2%) (7).
Women tend to have fewer completely obstructive (apneic) events than partially obstructive (hypopneic) events, with shorter mean and maximum duration of
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