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Sleep-disordered breathing comes at a heavy cost
Date:1/12/2011

"Snoring, sleep apnoea, and obesity-related respiratory difficulties are fairly common disorders that affect a large proportion of the population," according to Poul Jennum, Professor of Clinical Neurophysiology at the Center for Healthy Ageing at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Health Sciences. He is head of the Danish Centre for Sleep Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, which treats patients from all over the country.

"Previous studies show that these disorders seriously affect quality of life, and our new studies show that people who snore violently, and particularly those who suffer from sleep apnoea, narcolepsy and obesity-related respiratory difficulties, are more frequently in contact with the health service than others; they take more medicine, they are unemployed more often and have lower average incomes than healthy people- The more serious their disorders, the greater the socio-economic costs."

Patients with sleep apnoea or obesity-related respiratory difficulties incur medicine and hospital costs two to three times higher than healthy control subjects. The total health costs were twice as high, and unemployment was 30 per cent higher. Patients who suffered from obesity-related respiratory difficulties had the lowest rate of employment. When patients were in work they earned 30 per cent less than healthy control subjects, an indication of lower educational attainment and an effect of the health impact of their disorder.

Every violent snorer costs society 705; the figure for sleep apnoea is 3860, while obesity-related respiratory difficulties cost 11 320. These socio-economic consequences are present up to eight years before patients are finally diagnosed with sleep apnoea and obesity-related respiratory difficulties. The figures cover direct costs such as more frequent visits to the doctor, hospital admissions or medicine use, and indirect costs by way of lost labour, lower earnings and greater unemployment. The researc
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Contact: Professor Poul Jennum
POJE@glo.regionh.dk
454-025-7495
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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