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Open Access Overnight pulse oximetry for screening of obstructive sleep apnea in at-risk adult patients in the primary care setting: prospective case series

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Objective: To estimate prevalence of OSA among at risk adult patients in primary care setting. To test the correlation and agreement between overnight pulse oximetry and polysomnography (PSG). To test the OSA screening performance of overnight pulse oximetry.

Design and Setting: Prospective case series involving adult Chinese patients with risk factors for OSA at a primary care clinic of Hong Kong.

Methods: The prevalence and severity of OSA were established based on overnight pulse oximetry derived oxygen desaturation index (ODI). Screening performance of overnight pulse oximetry was compared directly with gold standard diagnostic test PSG.

Results: Three hundred and five male and 229 female patients were recruited. Snoring (48.3%) was the top presenting symptom. Three hundred and twenty five patients (60.9%) were screened positive to have OSA. One hundred and nine patients had performed PSG, the ODI_4 and apnoea-hypopnea index (AHI) had Pearson correlation coefficient 0.71 (P<0.001). Bland and Altman plot showed good agreement. Using designation criteria of ODI_4≥5 events/hr, the sensitivity and specificity for OSA diagnosis are 94.4% and 78.9% respectively.

Conclusion: The prevalence of OSA is 60.9% among adult primary care population who are at risk for OSA. Overnight pulse oximetry shows good performance as a screening tool for the screening of OSA.
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Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea; overnight pulse oximetry; primary care

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2017

This article was made available online on 24 July 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Overnight pulse oximetry for screening of obstructive sleep apnea in at-risk adult patients in the primary care setting: prospective case series".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press

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