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 waking up gasping for air. In this article, well provide some statistics regarding this surprisingly common affliction.

  • Sleep apnea is prevalent in as many as 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 have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. This accounts for approximately 1 in 50 individuals being undiagnosed.

  • Research conducted at the University of Californias San Diego campus studied 54 African Americans and 346 Caucasians for the presence of sleep apnea. The results showed that a full 17 percent of African American test subjects had a case of obstructive sleep apnea present, compared to 8 percent of the Caucasian subjects. This denotes a hypothesis that African Americans stand an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

  • More than 263,000 children per year undergo tonsillectomies. Most of these operations are performed due to the presence of sleep apnea in the children that is caused by the tonsils obstructing their air way.

  • 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.

  • A bed mate of a person with untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lose a serious amount of sleep! Due to the breathing and gasping of the apnea sufferer, the bed mate loses up to an hour per night of sleep. This was discovered when a study was conducted that measured the effects of CPAP treatment in helping the bed mate to sleep.

  • Roughly half of all hospital patients that have a case of hypertension are also afflicted with sleep apnea. Conversely, around half of all sleep apnea sufferers face a diagnosis of hypertension.

  • On the average nights sleep, a sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea may experience 60 apneas per hour. This accounts for an average of 400 apneas per night!

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.

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