Sleep apnea: It’s better managed at home, study says

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SAN DIEGO – Testing for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and initiating treatment with an APAP device at home vs. in a lab reduces costs and doesn’t negatively impact clinical outcomes, according to a new study. The study, presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, May 16-21, in San Diego, enrolled 296 subjects, with roughly half beginning CPAP at home and the other half in a lab. Researchers found the cost of home testing was significantly lower than the cost of lab testing ($4,057 vs. $4,621) over 2.75 years. Additionally, assessment with the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire showed no significant difference in outcomes between groups. “While the use of home testing and initiation of CPAP therapy is increasingly common, studies of its cost-effectiveness are scarce,” stated lead author Charles Atwood, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Program of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. “These results support the continued use of home management of these disorders.”