Approximately 81% of hospital patients are at a high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea, according to a study conducted by researchers at Loyola University Health System in the US.

The researchers surveyed 195 patients at Loyola University Hospital using an eight-question obstructive sleep apnoea screening questionnaire known as Stop-Bang, in which answering ‘yes’ to at least three questions indicates a high risk of sleep apnoea.

The study results showed that among the 195 patients surveyed 157 patients (80.5%) were found to be at a high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Of the 157 patients only 41 were evaluated in an overnight sleep lab. Of these 41 patients 31 were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea, but only 18 received treatment either with a CPAP breathing mask or surgery.

Study researcher Dr Sunita Kumar said undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea may be associated with an increased risk of complications in hospitalised patients.

“Screening and evaluation for obstructive sleep apnoea in high-risk patients should be considered as it may help reduce the burden of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea,” Kumar said.