In the United States, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects 14% of adult men and 5% of adult women, with higher rates among obese individuals and older adults.1 The majority of individuals with OSA remain undiagnosed.2,3 Although OSA has repeatedly been associated with unfavorable long-term cardiovascular outcomes,4 it is increasingly recognized that patients with OSA are at risk for adverse events in the postoperative setting.5,6 Perioperative clinicians have traditionally equated the presence of OSA with complications affecting the respiratory system, but based on a small number of mostly retrospective studies, it is unclear whether patients with unrecognized OSA are at higher risk of postoperative cardiovascular events. In addition, because most patients with OSA will be undiagnosed at the time of surgery, questions remain regarding the importance of identifying this population preoperatively, as well as of risk-stratifying individuals for clinically relevant adverse outcomes. Quality data are needed to address this issue, because the results could significantly influence clinical care pathways for patients undergoing surgery.
Auckley D, Memtsoudis S. Unrecognized Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Postoperative Cardiovascular Complications: A Wake-up Call. JAMA. 2019;321(18):1774–1776. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4781
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