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Reader survey: AHI thresholds in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea

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Current AASM practice guidelines state: “Clinically, OSA is defined by the occurrence of daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, witnessed breathing interruptions, or awakenings due to gasping or choking in the presence of at least 5 obstructive respiratory events (apneas, hypopneas or respiratory effort related arousals) per hour of sleep. The presence of 15 or more obstructive respiratory events per hour of sleep in the absence of sleep related symptoms is also sufficient for the diagnosis of OSA due to the greater association of this severity of obstruction with important consequences such as increased cardiovascular disease risk.”1

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1. Epstein, LJ, et al. Clinical Guideline for the Evaluation, Management and Long-term Care of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults. JCSM, 2009;.5:263–276.