Sleep Apnea Statistics: Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person is unable to get oxygen into their system while sleeping. Periods of apnea tend to last 10 seconds or longer, and often leave the afflicted person gasping for air. Most times the person will not really wake up (even though they are gasping for air), these are called “Micro Arousals”. Here are some statistics regarding this surprisingly common affliction.
- Sleep apnea affects an estimated 18 million Americans alone. This statistic denotes that approximately 1 in every 15 Americans, or 6.62% of the total American population have a case of sleep apnea.
- Two to four percent of all Americans has an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. This accounts for approximately 1 in 50 individuals being undiagnosed.
- People that are afflicted with sleep apnea face a steep increase in chances of being part of a traffic accident. Due to the sleeplessness and lack of ability to concentrate that are associated with apnea, sufferers are six times more likely to die in a car accident. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that drowsy driving is responsible for, at the very least, 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths per year.
- People that have an untreated case of sleep apnea face a risk of stroke. That is four times as likely as those who are not afflicted. Untreated sleep apnea sufferers are also three times as likely to have heart disease.
- Due to the breathing and gasping of the apnea sufferer, the bed mate loses up to an hour of sleep per night.
- On the average night’s sleep, a sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea may experience 60 apneas per hour. This accounts for an average of 400 suffocations per night!
- 25% of all people with sleep disordered breathing have depression. The greater the obstructive sleep apnea, the worse the depression.
- 90% of all people with high blood pressure have sleep disordered breathing.
- 60% of all people with sleep disordered breathing have high blood pressure.
- According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, roughly 38,000 cardiovascular deaths annually are in some way related to sleep apnea.
- 30% of people with Sleep Apnea do NOT snore (just because you don’t snore, doesn’t mean you don’t have some kind of Sleep Disordered Breathing). The Greek word “Apnea” literally means “without breath”. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses, or if the tongue closes the airway during sleep.
As these statistics show, sleep apnea is not a problem to be taken lightly. The risks of mortality faced by those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are simply not worth it when you consider all the types of treatment available.