Chicago, IL – A small, portable device used for the home diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea has been deemed very reliable, according to new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.
According to the study, authored by researchers with the New York Otolaryngology group, 120 patients over a four-month period used Holter oximeters for home sleep testing, registering a 97 percent data recovery rate during that period. Furthermore, patients reported an average comfort score of 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the most comfortable). As a result, the authors have determined that Holter oximetry represents a new, easy to use, and reliable device for the home diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, useful in measuring outcomes for the surgical and non-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children.
Sleep apnea, which affects over 10 million Americans, with an estimated additional 10 million undiagnosed, is characterized by loud snoring interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing (obstructive sleep apnea). Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.
Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed their national coverage determination to include Type II, III, and IV devices for home sleep testing for sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea.