Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Elderly
INTRODUCTION Many older adults complain of poor sleep. Foley reported that sleep disruption becomes a common problem in aging adults, with reports of 50% of adults over the age of 65 complaining of poor sleep (1). A variety of factors contribute to sleep dis ruption in the elderly, including underlying medical and psychiatric illness, medi cation use, circadian rhythm disturbances, and specific sleep disorders (2). One type of sleep disorder most commonly diagnosed in the elderly, with prevalence reports of 20% to 81%, is sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) (3-5). In general, SDB encom passes a variety of sleep-related breathing disorders ranging from benign snoring to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); however, the term is often used to refer to OSA. In this chapter, we will use the terms SDB and OSA interchangeably, except when explicitly stated otherwise.