In President Joe Biden’s recent annual physical, the most significant development was the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is now being managed with positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, according to a health summary by Kevin O’Connor, DO, FAAFP, physician to the president.  

In the Feb 28 summary, O’Connor, who also serves as an associate professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, notes that the President previously showed symptoms consistent with OSA, as reported in President Biden’s 2008 medical records and O’Connor’s 2019 report. These symptoms had improved following sinus and nasal passage surgeries, according to the report. 

However, polysomnography confirmed the suspected diagnosis last year. 

“Given the importance of efficient sleep for anyone, but certainly for a senior executive, we revisited the issue this past spring and conducted a formal sleep study,” says O’Connor in the summary. “This study confirmed my suspicion that the president would benefit from optimizing his sleep efficiency with PAP.”

O’Connor notes that Biden’s adjustment to PAP was consistent with other patients’ experiences, which include challenges like getting used to falling asleep with the mask on and keeping it on throughout the night. “The president had a very similar experience. But with trials of several different masks, we have been able to identify a couple of products which fit him very comfortably and effectively,” the summary reads. “He has been remarkably committed to sticking with therapy and uses PAP successfully almost every night, for most of all of the night.”

Data from PAP surveillance “confirms complete treatment” when therapy is in place, according to the summary. 

“The president feels well, and this year’s physical identified no new concerns…President Biden is a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the president, including those of chief executive, head of state, and commander in chief,” the summary reads. 

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