Approximately 1 in 5 American adults have at least mild symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which amounts to nearly 18 million adults. About 1 in 15 people with OSA have severe symptoms, which causes considerable effects on their health and well-being. Only about 20 percent of people with OSA know they have it and are receiving any treatment for their conditions.
Anyone can have OSA, including kids. Risk factors for OSA include being older than 50, smoking and going through menopause. Genetics are also important in the development of OSA, and up to 25 percent of people with OSA have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
People with OSA are at risk for a broad array of health problems. The sleep deprivation caused by OSA often leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. OSA also contributes to depression, accidents, and mental errors at work. People with OSA have an increased risk of causing a motor vehicle accident.