Standard Tests May Underestimate Severity of Sleep Apnea in Black Patients

By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Might 24, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Relating to diagnosing sleep apnea, present screening strategies might put Black sufferers at an obstacle, new analysis suggests.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a severe sleep problem characterised by disrupted respiration throughout sleep. An preliminary screening instrument could be an in a single day pulse oximeter take a look at — a small gadget clipped on to a fingertip that measures blood oxygen ranges.

Investigators started this examine after seeing analysis that pulse oximeters used on intensive care unit sufferers in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic could be much less correct in Black sufferers than in white sufferers.

“Whereas pores and skin pigmentation appears to have an effect on the outcomes of oximetry, we didn’t know whether or not the identical can be true throughout checks for OSA,” stated examine co-author Ali Azarbarzin, an assistant professor of drugs at Harvard Medical Faculty, in Boston.

“We hypothesized that this is able to be the case,” Azarbarzin stated in a information launch from the American Thoracic Society.

So, the researchers examined the outcomes of virtually 2,000 sufferers of various races and ethnicities who did in a single day dwelling sleep research.

The investigators in contrast members’ common change in oxygen ranges after every respiration pause utilizing gear that included oximeters.

The group discovered that Black members had a smaller lower in oxygen saturation — blood oxygen stage — for every respiration pause in comparison with white sufferers. This was true after accounting for different components that may affect blood oxygen ranges, together with age, intercourse, physique mass index (a measurement primarily based on weight and top) and smoking.

“Our findings counsel that these measurement issues might result in underestimation of the severity of OSA in Black people. Nonetheless, whether or not this underestimation of oxygen drops ought to result in vital variations in diagnosing and managing OSA in Black and different people with darkish pores and skin is unclear,” Azarbarzin stated.

“Nonetheless, these findings spotlight the necessity to rigorously take a look at the accuracy of oximeters throughout various populations and likewise to think about whether or not components apart from the oximeter’s traits might clarify variations in oxygen patterns with respiration pauses,” he added.

The findings had been scheduled for presentation Tuesday on the annual assembly of the American Thoracic Society, in Washington, D.C. Analysis introduced at medical conferences must be thought-about preliminary till revealed in a peer-reviewed journal.

Extra info

The Sleep Basis has extra on obstructive sleep apnea.

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, information launch, Might 23, 2023


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