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Clin Respir J. 2008 Oct;2(4):197-201. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-699X.2008.00076.x.

Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: current status.

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University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.



Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a prevalent condition that covaries with cardiovascular complications and most likely with arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus.


The present paper is a review of the current status of OSAS.


Definitions and diagnostic criteria as well as known risk factors, prevalence, symptoms, covariance with other diseases and consequences as traffic accidents are described. OSAS is characterised by daytime sleepiness symptoms that range from mild to severe. Risk factors such as anatomical upper airway abnormalities, overweight, smoking, excessive alcohol intake and use of muscle relaxants are related to the development of sleep apnoea. Various diagnostic procedures and treatment modalities are considered. Overnight polysomnography is the reference standard for sleep apnoea recording. Treatment modalities include mechanical [continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral appliances], surgical, pharmacological and 'conservative' lifestyle modifications. Finally, Nordic accreditation guidelines for sleep medicine clinics and sleep medicine specialists are described.


The diagnosis of OSAS should be performed with a polygraph, and the first-line treatment of moderate to severe OSAS is CPAP. Lastly, compliance for this treatment should be optimised with regular clinical controls.

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