Sleep apnoea or sleep apnea?

Sleep apnoea and sleep apnea are the same thing.

The first being the traditional UK (and Australian) spelling with the second being the American spelling. Sleep apnea is still more commonly used in Australia.

Sleep apnoea in Australia

Obstructive sleep apnoea in Australia is highly prevalent and underdiagnosed:

It is estimated that more than 60% of adults occasionally snore and more than 30% regularly snore1
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs in approximately 10% of females and 25% of males2,3
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly associated with high blood pressure and diabetes
Given the recent rise in obesity, the prevalence of snoring and osa is likely to have increased4
More than 80% of OSA sufferers are yet to be diagnosed5

1. Jose M Marin, Santiago J Carrizo, Eugenio Vicente, Alvar G N Agusti. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes in men with obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea with or without treatment with continuous positive airway pressure: an observational study: Lancet 2005;365:1046-53. 2. Logan et al. High prevalence of unrecognized sleep apnea in drug-resistant hypertension. J Hypertension 2001;19:2271-227. 3. Bassetti et al. Sleep apnea in acute cerebrovascular diseases: final report on 128 patients. Sleep 1999;22:217-223 4. Medical Services Advisory Committee, Public Summary Document, Application No. 1130 – Unattended Sleep Studies in the Diagnosis and Reassessment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea March 2010. 5. Fatigue and Transport Working Party (Ad hoc sub-committee of the Australasian Sleep Association 03-04).

Which Australians are at risk? Symptoms associated with sleep apnoea in Australia include:
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Age > 45
  • If you snore loudly
  • Other cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure, stroke, atrial fibrillation)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Excessive daytime tiredness

Australian Independent Sleep Physician Cohort (ISPC) patient study

With independent sleep physicians and working alongside the referring doctor, Healthy Sleep Solutions has tested and treated over 100,000 patients for sleep apnoea in Australia. The below shows how many people in certain patient groups were diagnosed with sleep apnoea.

The numbers are based on a sample of 78,145 patients who were screened for sleep apnoea by their doctor before being tested.

92% of overweight males, over 45 with high blood pressure were diagnosed with sleep apnoea.

92% sleep apnoea
>45 yo
Over weight
High blood pressure
The incidence of sleep apnoea increased by weight in males and females
Weight (BMI) % testing positive for sleep apnoea
Healthy (18.5-24.5) 60%
Overweight (25-29.9) 75%
Obese (30 – 34.9) 84%
Severely Obese (35-39.9) 88%
Morbidly obese (40+) 91%

Patients were assessed for eligibility of a sleep test according to criteria set by the ISPC.

Find out more about

Sleep apnoea and snoring
Learn more
Taking a sleep apnoea risk test
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Book a sleep test online
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