Is the Sleep Apnea Epidemic on the Rise

obese men

Think of someone with sleep apnea and imagine them in your head.  What do they look like?  The majority of people would think of a middle-aged, overweight, male.  There’s a reason for this stereotype.  Overweight people have more tissue in their body that can collapse their lung airways in their sleep.  If you haven’t read this here is our post on losing weight for sleep apnea and why it affects it.

Why Sleep Apnea is on the rise

According to this graph obesity rates have been, and continue to be, major threats to American health.  With obesity rates nearing 37.7% in some states for adults, it is obvious that Sleep Apnea rates are also going to go up.  You can look online and find many studies about OBS  rates.  The fact of the matter is, nothing is going to go down without legislation or a movement by people to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Why does it matter?

The average life expectancy of an adult under fifty is reduced from 8 to 18 years.  Besides living healthier, after you start working on a solution, you’ll have more energy and more satisfaction from life.  The average adult needs somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if that sleep is getting interrupted by sleep apnea or a partner with it, it stands to reason they’re going to be better off with it fixed.

Government Legislation

Because of multiple incidents involving bus drivers and sleep apnea the government is considering legislation.  The new bill would require all bus drivers to be screened for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OBS) and possibly require treatment if they were found positive.  Sleep Apnea is proven to lead to higher risk of an accident, some estimates even say double the chance of an accident.

If you believe you or a loved one are at risk for OBS then take this short quiz to see if you could possibly have it.  Make sure you always check with a doctor too if you’re starting to see negative consequences in your life.