Mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) does not cause significant long-term adverse health consequences.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder among middle-aged persons in the United States. Young et al1 reported that the prevalence of OSA associated with hypersomnolence was 2% in women and 4% in men aged 30 to 60 years. It is reasonably well established that many patients with OSA, now more commonly referred to as sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), have resultant pathologic sleepiness and daytime performance decrements. It has also been recognized for years that patients with severe apnea suffer significant health consequences as a result of their apnea. Yet, it remains controversial whether patients with less severe forms of this disease incur the same adverse health consequences.
Walker RP. Long-term Health Consequences of Mild to Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(11):1397-1400. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.11.1397