At least 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), reports the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Sleep apnea afflicts an estimated 26 percent of adults between the ages of 30 and 70 years, a prevalence that has increased substantially over the last two decades.
As a result, sleep apnea represents a growing threat to public health in the U.S. Recent studies shed new light on the destructive impact of sleep apnea on the brain and heart. This research also shows that these health risks can be reduced with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for sleep apnea.
Common warning signs for obstructive sleep apnea include snoring and choking, gasping, or silent breathing pauses during sleep. The American Association of Sleep Technologists and other partners in the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project urge anyone with signs or symptoms of sleep apnea to visit www.stopsnoringpledge.org to pledge to "Stop the Snore" and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea.