Many older adults have a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea; however, evaluations for the condition are seldom performed, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, reports Healio.

“Although older age is a recognized risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), estimates regarding OSA risk and discrepancies in OSA recognition and treatment are primarily based on regional data from middle-aged adults,” Tiffany J. Braley, MD, MS, from the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues wrote. “Little is known about the national scope of OSA risk under-recognition, and undertreatment in older adults.”

Braley and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the proportion of older Americans at risk for OSA who receive evaluations, diagnosis and treatment for the condition. The researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study survey, which asked 1,052 community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older about sleep disturbances. Questions from the survey were similar to the validated STOP-Bang questionnaire.