Obstructive sleep apnea in obese hospitalized patients: A single center experience

Sunil Sharma, Paul J. Mather, Jimmy T. Efird, Daron Kahn, Kristin Y. Shiue, Mohammed Cheema, Raymond Malloy, Stuart F. Quan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Scopus citations


    Study Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an important health problem associated with signifi cant morbidity and mortality. This condition often is underrecognized in hospitalized patients. The aim of this study was to conduct a clinical pathway evaluation (CPE) among obese patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital. We also assessed oxygen desaturation index (ODI, measured by overnight pulse oximetry) as a potential low-cost screening tool for identifying OSA. Methods: This was a prospective study of 754 patients admitted to an academic medical center between February 2013 and February 2014. Consecutive obese patients (body mass index < 30) admitted to the hospital (medical services) were screened and evaluated for OSA with the snoring, tiredness during daytime, observed apnea, high blood pressure (STOP) questionnaire. The admitting team was advised to perform follow-up evaluation, including polysomnography, if the test was positive. Results: A total of 636 patients were classifi ed as high risk and 118 as low risk for OSA. Within 4 w of discharge, 149 patients underwent polysomnography, and of these, 87% (129) were shown to have OSA. An optimal screening cutoff point for OSA (apnea-hypopnea index > 10/h) was determined to be ODI < 10/h [Matthews correlation coeffi cient = 0.36, 95% confi dence interval = 0.24-0.47]. Signifi cantly more hospitalized patients were identifi ed and underwent polysomnography compared with the year prior to introduction of the CPE. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the CPE increased the identifi cation of OSA in this population. Furthermore, ODI derived from overnight pulse oximetry may be a cost-effective strategy to screen for OSA in hospitalized patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)717-723
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 2015


    • Diagnosis
    • Obstructive sleep apnea

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Neurology
    • Neurology
    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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