Sarah has covered news topics for digital and print publications. She holds a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nevada.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has been awarded a substantial grant, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an effort to raise awareness surrounding obstructive sleep apnea.
According to the CDC, the objective of the grant is to “work with stakeholders and partners on education, outreach, and public awareness activities” surrounding chronic illnesses like sleep apnea.
Over the course of the next three years, the funding will be directed toward awareness initiatives involving health care providers and the public. Only 33% of adults sought medical evaluation for sleep apnea symptoms in 2015-2016, which is a stark percentage considering nearly 30 million Americans have sleep apnea.
The funding will also focus on the sleep health disparities in Black, Native American, and Hispanic communities, in which the prevalence of sleep apnea is higher.
The lack of proper sleep apnea diagnosis in America is in part due to the variety of symptoms that the disease presents, such as:
Aside from anatomical reasons, such as the size and positioning of the neck and jaw, sleep apnea can be caused by several variables such as obesity, back sleeping, and smoking.
The lack of diagnosed sleep apnea cases in America has become a multi-billion dollar problem for both the individual and the health care system. Even once the disease is diagnosed, the equipment and treatment necessary adds to the expense—CPAP devices can cost thousands of dollars.
With this funding, AASR will be able to continue efforts toward sleep apnea awareness, allowing people to get the treatment they need and enhance their quality of life.