Worldwide markets are poised to achieve continuing growth as CPAP prove value by providing airway support during sleep to a larger percent of the worldwide population.
The CPAP study provides a compelling case for putting devices off prescription. Despite devices being on the market since 1980, less than 20% of the people who need them have a CPAP device. The pressure delivered air during sleep is able to mitigate the onset of high blood pressure, cardiac arrythmia, and type 2 diabetes. These chronic diseases represent a significant part of the cost of healthcare delivery. To be able to mitigate the onset of severity of chronic disease is of interest to every healthcare provider.
A strong association has been discovered between sleep apnea and a number of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Studies have shown that sleep apnea is present in approximately 83% of patients with drug-resistant hypertension. While sleep apnea has been diagnosed in a broad cross-section of the population, until recently, it has typically been used to treat middle-aged, middle and upper class white men who are obese. The importance of sleep apnea in people is increasingly being recognized. 40% of new PAP patients are female.
Taking CPAP devices off prescription would move the current recommender base to vendors. Putting the onus of education on CPAP vendors who typically have very large marketing budgets and access to TV and other advertising venues is likely to be a positive move in the industry.
It is estimated that less than 20% of those with OSA have been diagnosed or treated. This data provides compelling reasons to take CPAP devices off prescription. Many healthcare professionals are often unable to diagnose OSA because they are unaware that non-specific symptoms as excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, hypertension and irritability are characteristic of OSA.
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