Study Suggests Effectiveness of Blood Test Screening for Sleep Apnea in Adult Males

Positive results of a recent clinical trial suggest that blood tests may offer key benefits in the initial screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study, which involved 264 male adult patients from six institutions, revealed that screening for changes in three specific biomarkers may be useful in helping to identify people with OSA. The results of the study were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature and Science of Sleep, with the anticipation that use of these objective blood tests will improve screening accuracy and timely diagnosis as well as patient management. Diagnostic medical equipment company Beckman Coulter—whose clinical research department is listed as one of the author’s affiliations—offers this panel of three assays on fully automated platforms in the United States. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are chemistry tests on the Synchron and AU systems while erythropoietin (EPO) is on the DxI and Access 2 immunoassay systems.

“The study results demonstrate that sleep apnea induces a characteristic signature cluster of blood biomarker changes,” says principal investigator and lead author Wesley Elon Fleming, MD, diplomate, American Board of Sleep Medicine and Neurology, Sleep Center Orange County, Irvine, California, in a release. “Concurrent elevations of HbA1c, CRP, and EPO levels should generate a high index of suspicion of obstructive sleep apnea, and thus, may be useful as an initial screening tool in adult males.”

Jon-Erik Holty, MD, MS, Stanford Medical School/VA Palo Alto Health Care System, says, “The

Natural Ways To Kiss Snoring Goodbye

Snoring has been the bane of existence of many people. It is so bothersome that both the snorers and their spouses lose sleep on a day to day basis without any promise of relief any time soon. Sleep apnea happens to be incurable and people with the condition only receive palliative treatment so the quality of their lives do not deteriorate that much and they get to sleep better too.

When you think about sleep apnea and snoring, you’d likely associate its treatment with surgery or CPAP, both of which aren’t the cheapest option nor the safest or most comfortable either. Fortunately, over the years, there have been newer and more convenient stop snoring products alternatives in the form of sleep apnea mouthpieces. They are fairly easy to use and quite cost-effective too. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get one because many even offer a free trial so you get a feel for what the device feels like before actually paying for it.

In fact, heavy snoring and sleep apnea may be linked to memory and thinking decline at an earlier age, according to a 2015 study published in Neurology. Since sufferers involuntarily stop breathing during the night, sleep apnea is a serious disorder that requires medical attention. But if you’re ready to put an end to “simple” snoring, try these five lifestyle changes for a more peaceful


Monitor your weight.

Once you doze off, the

Switching to Bilevel PAP Saves 56% of Patients from Therapy Termination

A new study reveals that shifting patients who are struggling with adherence to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy to a more advanced bilevel device in the first 90 days of treatment is an effective tool for achieving adherence in well more than half of such cases.

This research, sponsored by ResMed, was presented at SLEEP 2018.

Patients diagnosed with sleep apnea are usually prescribed a PAP device that provides either continuous (CPAP) or auto-adjusting (APAP) pressure. A bilevel device delivers two distinct pressures, one for inhalation and one for exhalation. Physicians may prescribe bilevel for patients who are pressure intolerant or have continued evidence of apnea at higher pressures.

In this “bilevel rescue” study, ResMed compared 1,496 non-compliant patients (as defined by US Medicare guidelines) who switched to bilevel therapy and found that compliance was achieved by:

  • 58.5% of patients who switched before day 60
  • 54.2% of patients who switched between days 60–90
  • 56.8% of patients overall

“Finding the right mode of therapy made all the difference to those patients who are struggling with initial adherence to therapy,” says ResMed chief medical officer Carlos M. Nunez, MD, in a release. “This strongly suggests that bilevel devices provide a powerful alternative therapy that physicians and HMEs [home medical equipment providers] can utilize to help improve non-compliant patients’ treatment experience and outcomes.”

Compliance with Positive Airway Pressure Therapy after Switching From CPAP to Bilevel for Non-Compliant OSA Patients: A Big Data Analysis

ResMed Joins Google to Research Sleep Apnea Therapies

Sleep apnoea firm ResMed has joined with Google’s life science division Verily to form a new joint venture studying the health and financial impact of undiagnosed and untreated disease, and find new ways to treat it.

The joint venture will combine ResMed’s expertise in sleep apnoea and Verily’s advanced health data analytics technologies.

As well as assessing the impact of untreated disease on patients’ lives, it will develop software to more efficiently identify, diagnose, treat, and manage patients with sleep apnoea and other breathing related sleep disorders.

Caused by the walls of the throat relaxing and narrowing during sleep and interrupting breathing, the disease affects around 54 million people in the US, and is associated with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.

from Sleep Review…

Fatigue a Potential Indicator of Overlapping Sleep Apnea and COPD

A study published in PLOS One finds that patients with overlapping chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are significantly more fatigued than patients with OSA alone, reports Psychiatry Advisor.

The case-control study enrolled 38 patients with overlap syndrome, 38 patients with OSA only, and 28 healthy control patients through the Alexandra Hospital of Athens. The patients underwent pulmonary function tests, oximetry, and overnight polysomnography and completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Fatigue Severity Scale, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale before and after a 3-month treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

from Sleep Review…

ResMed, Verily to Form Joint Venture to Help Reach People with Untreated Sleep Apnea

ResMed and Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) focused on life sciences and healthcare, have entered into an agreement to form a new joint venture.

Combining ResMed’s expertise in sleep apnea and Verily’s advanced health data analytics technologies, the US-based joint venture will study the health and financial impacts of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea and develop software solutions that enable healthcare providers to more efficiently identify, diagnose, treat, and manage individuals with sleep apnea and other breathing-related sleep disorders.

“The vast majority of people with sleep apnea don’t realize they have it, and therefore don’t seek accessible, effective treatment to mitigate its effects and long-term health risks,” says ResMed chief medical officer Carlos M. Nunez, MD, in a release. “The combined industry expertise, scalable infrastructure, and data analytics capabilities of ResMed and Verily can unlock meaningful ways to identify these individuals and support their journey to improved sleep, health, and quality of life.”

Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily, says, “Approaching a widespread health problem like sleep apnea through collecting, organizing and activating health data is central to Verily’s mission. By better identifying at-risk individuals as well as generating real-world evidence regarding the value and effectiveness of treatment, this collaboration has the potential to improve outcomes for millions of people living with sleep apnea and potentially other related conditions.”

The joint venture, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, will operate

Aetna Adds Coverage for Inspire Therapy for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Inspire Medical Systems Inc announced that Aetna Inc will provide coverage for the company’s Inspire therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, effective immediately. Aetna’s health plan provides coverage for approximately 22 million members.

“We are very pleased to receive this positive coverage decision from Aetna. We believe this coverage decision is a major milestone and has the potential to facilitate patient and physician access to and interest in Inspire therapy,” says Tim Herbert, president and CEO of Inspire Medical Systems, in a release. “There is a strong body of clinical data supporting Inspire therapy, including the 5-year STAR data, the ADHERE 300-patient registry data and other supportive publications. We believe our growing body of clinical and real-world data will be the basis for further coverage decisions by other major health plans.”

Under its policy, Aetna considers Inspire’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hypoglossal nerve neurostimulation device to be medically necessary for the treatment of moderate to severe OSA when a number of criteria are met. These include a previous attempt at continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment and patient selection consistent with FDA approval guidelines.

from Sleep Review…

Sandoval County Medical Center Treating a Number of Sleep Disorders

A sleep study at the SRMC Sleep Disorders Clinic can turn a life around, reports The University of New Mexico Health Sciences.

“Sleep should be a time when the body is at rest and healing,” says Nancy Polnaszek, director of the UNM Hospitals and Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) Sleep Disorders clinics.

Unfortunately, for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, the opposite occurs.

Sleep apnea causes the throat to close as the body relaxes during sleep and breathing momentarily ceases. That interruption, in turn, causes a “flight or fight” response, with a person regaining consciousness just long enough to take a breath. The brain returns to sleep and the process begins again – sometimes repeating the cycle several hundred times in a night.

from Sleep Review…

Distracted Driving Laws Still Have a Way to Go

Sleep-deprived drivers pose similar risks on the road as drivers distracted by smartphones, but most state’s laws don’t reflect this danger, argues a dental sleep medicine practitioner.

So far, 47 states have passed laws that ban texting while driving, and many have taken this concept a step further, explicitly banning drivers from using handheld devices. Georgia is the latest state to follow suit. The “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” which went into effect on July 1, comes with many nuances, but in general motorists will be prohibited from holding a cell phone or other electronic device while behind the wheel.

Those in support of the law hope it will reduce the rising death toll on Georgia roads, which was 1,549 in 2017, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. Similarly alarming numbers are reflected nationally. In 2016, 3,540 people were killed by distracted driving alone, according to the United States Department of Transportation.

This is a significant problem making our roads unsafe, and a large majority of drivers in the United States are at fault. Zendrive, a startup that gathers analytics on driver behavior, conducted the “largest distracted driving study to date” to assess the frequency of cell phone usage while behind the wheel. The 2017 study analyzed 3.1 million American drivers covering 5.6 billion miles. It was found that in 88% of trips, drivers were on their smartphones, which averaged

The Essential Guide On Using Light To Improve Sleep

Although sleep problems can have a variety of causes, one major cause of insomnia is a disrupted circadian rhythm. Because of our modern, 21st century lifestyle, we’ve become way out of tune with the earth’s normal day-night cycle. Luckily, there’s a few things you can do about this. Get lots, lots and lots of sunlight […]

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from The Sleeping Blog…