Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Different Strokes for Different Folks: Screening for Sleep Apnea Across Cultures

People differ from place to place. Likewise, predictive tools predict vary between populations.

New research in the journal Sleep and Breathing compared the diagnostic characteristics of two prediction models in a population. Results indicate that a model’s ability to predict sleep apnea may differ by culture.

This Singapore-based study included 117 people, of which 77 had moderate to severe sleep apnea. The researchers developed a predictive model from their evaluations and characteristics. This tool became the local model.

The diagnostic characteristics of the local model were compared with those of a foreign model. The local model and the foreign model were then applied to 52 local patients.

The models produced similar accuracy. However, the foreign model produced different diagnostic characteristics from the local model.

The researchers suggest that the predictive outcomes may vary because cultures perceive and report symptoms, such as snoring, differently.

All participants took an overnight sleep test. Model accuracy is important because it helps patients avoid unnecessary tests.

The authors note that in some areas of the world, it is not possible to diagnose sleep apnea with a sleep test. When equipment is unavailable, doctors may use prediction models to screen for sleep disorders.

The study suggests that screening tools should be local for the best results.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.