Survey highlights lack of awareness of sleep apnea, diagnostic options
According to a survey led by Itamar Medical, 89% of respondents believe they know what sleep apnea is, but their understanding is superficial, with awareness lacking of the wider implications of sleep apnea.
Results allow suggest a lack of awareness of the availability of safe and home-based diagnostic options, according to the press release.
The survey was conducted in November 2020 and assessed a representative sample of more than 1,000 U.S. adults.
According to the results, 33% of respondents reported that they were unaware they could significantly reduce health risks associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke by treating sleep apnea. One-quarter of respondents reported that they were unaware that snoring may be a sign of a serious health issue or did not believe this to be true, according to the release.
In other survey results, 23% of respondents reported they would think twice before seeking medical help for sleep problems and 28% reported they would not seek medical care at all.
According to the release, more than half of respondents indicated that they would not take a sleep test or seek treatment for a sleep disorder. Concerns related to taking a sleep test were (27.5%), inconvenience (20%) and fear of infection due to the COVID-19 pandemic (16%). One-quarter of respondents reported that they were not aware of home-based alternative diagnostic solutions to in-lab sleep testing. However, 56% of respondents reported that they would choose home-based testing instead of in-lab testing, if prescribed or required, according to the release.
When asked about wearable devices, 33% of respondents reported using a wearable device or app to track and/or monitor sleep. Of those, 41% reported taking results from these devices seriously.
“While, unfortunately, not all that surprising, the results of the survey exemplify the need to educate and spread awareness of the serious and life-threatening implications of undiagnosed sleep apnea,” Gilad Glick, CEO of Itamar Medical, said in the press release. “At Itamar Medical, we are dedicated to bringing about this awareness and providing home-based, easy-to-use, eligible for reimbursement and noninvasive solutions to address it. An alarming 51% of people still indicate that they would not take a sleep test or seek help for a sleep disorder. We need to address this issue and educate people that there are safe and viable solutions that can be conducted in the comfort of one’s home.”