All about sleep apnoea

All about sleep apnoea

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea, you’re definitely not alone.

According to the latest scientific research1, more than 936 million people around the world are affected.

This remarkable figure, which was published in the world’s leading respiratory health journal, is nearly 10 times greater than the World Health Organisation’s 2007 estimate of over 100 million.

"More than 85 % of sleep apnoea patients are undiagnosed"

explains Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., a study co-author and ResMed’s chief medical officer.

“This raises their risk of workplace and road accidents, and can contribute to other significant health problems, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or even poor glucose control for diabetic patients. We know the risks and now we know the size of the problem. Addressing it starts with screening patients we know to be high-risk.”

Carlos Nunez picture

Why is sleep apnoea mostly undiagnosed?

Much sleep apnoea is undiagnosed

With over 80% of obstructive sleep apnoea cases currently undiagnosed, there are millions of people who don’t know they’re affected2. They’ll repeatedly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more throughout the night, jerking awake to avoid suffocation before the cycle starts again.

The disruptive cycle causes chronic sleep deprivation but most people don’t remember waking up. Instead, they assume they’re tired because they’re stressed or getting older. Or they end up being misdiagnosed with insomnia, migraines, chronic fatigue or other conditions.


  1. Benjafield et al. Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis. Lancet Respiratory Medicine
  2. Young T, Evans L, Finn L, Patta M. Estimation of the clinically diagnosed proportion of sleep apnoea syndrome in middle-aged men and women. Sleep 1997; 20: 705-706.