chapter  25
2 Pages

A Concluding Note and Future Directions

William C. Dement

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep-related breathing disorders are argu­ ably the number one health problem in the United States if not the entire world. Given the high prevalence, it is amazing that this problem was completely unknown to the general public as well as health professionals as recently as 1965 and mostly unknown until the late 1970s. In addition to the actual obstructive sleep disorder itself, there are strong associations with cardiovascular disease, fatigue, mental impairment, diabetes, obesity, and probably a host of other less well-documented associations.