SLEEP APNOEA (1999)

Health effects of obstructive sleep apnoea and the effectiveness of continuous positive airways pressure: a systematic review of the research evidence

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to examine the research evidence for the health consequences of obstructive sleep apnoea and the effectiveness of continuous positive airways pressure.

Findings

The relevance of sleep apnoea to public health has been exaggerated. The effectiveness of continuous positive airways pressure in improving health outcomes has been poorly evaluated. There is enough evidence suggesting benefit in reducing daytime sleepiness in some patients to warrant large randomised placebo controlled trials of continuous positive airways pressure versus an effective weight reduction programme and other interventions.

Conducted by: John Wright1, Rachel Johns2, Ian Watt3, Arabella Melville3, Trevor Sheldon3

1. Bradford Royal Infirmary; 2. North Yorkshire Health Authority; 3. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

Publications

Wright J, Johns R, Watt I, Melville A, Sheldon T. Health effects of obstructive sleep apnoea and the effectiveness of continuous positive airways pressure: a systematic review of the research evidence. BMJ. 1997;314(7084):851-60

Funding

Commissioned by the Department of Health