The number of people in the UK getting a sleep study conducted by the NHS has doubled from 10 years ago, accordingly to a recent BBC News story.
69,919 studies were conducted in 2007/8, whereas last year saw this increase to 147,610.
This is the total for all sleep studies, and there are a number of different tests for various conditions. However, Sleep Apnoea is the most common sleep disorder in the UK. It is therefore safe the assume that a significant portion of these will be for OSA.
How many people need a sleep study?
The increased numbers give food for thought. OSA is believed to affect 5% of the population – around 3.25 million. The majority of these are undiagnosed. Even with the increased number of tests it would take 20 years for that many people to have a study done.
It perhaps explains why more people are opting for an in-home sleep study to have OSA confirmed. The increased strain on services will inevitably lead to longer waiting lists; or have them restricted to more serious cases.
Have you had Sleep Apnoea diagnosed on the NHS over the last 12-18 months? If so, please leave a comment on this blog to share your experience with others.