Investigators: Tiffany Joy Braley, James Burke
Funding: American Sleep Medicine Foundation, 2015-2018 (115-SR-15)
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a well-recognized risk factor for serious health consequences and increased health care expenditures, but the impact of OSA under-recognition and under-treatment on outcomes and healthcare utilization patterns on a national level remains largely unstudied, particularly among the elderly. Research that characterizes the scope and impact of OSA under-recognition across the U.S. - and barriers to its diagnosis and treatment - is needed to develop strategies that will optimize medical outcomes for Americans with OSA. This proposal aims to identify critical gaps in the identification and treatment of OSA in the U.S., and determine the extent to which such gaps influence outcomes and healthcare utilization. This study will be facilitated though analysis of Medicare 5% datasets, and the National Health and Aging Trends Study - a newly available survey of Medicare beneficiaries that focuses on health outcomes in adults age 65 and older, linked to Medicare claims data. This approach will allow us to characterize national trends in OSA recognition and treatment, clarify relationships between OSA and health outcomes; and identify barriers to improving OSA-related consequences. Ultimately, this project will inform future research directed at improving cost-effective strategies to ameliorate medical and economic consequences of OSA.