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Clinical Summary

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults: Screening

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Population Asymptomatic adults, including those with unrecognized symptoms
Recommendation No recommendation.
Grade: I (insufficient evidence)
Risk Assessment Risk factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) include male sex, older age (40 to 70 y), postmenopausal status, higher body mass index, and craniofacial and upper airway abnormalities. Evidence on other risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol and sedative use, and nasal congestion, is sparse or mixed.
Screening Tests Evidence on the use of validated screening questionnaires in asymptomatic adults (or adults with unrecognized symptoms) to accurately identify who will benefit from further testing for OSA is inadequate.
Treatment and Interventions Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure or mandibular advancement devices can improve intermediate outcomes (apnea-hypopnea index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, and blood pressure) in populations referred for treatment. However, the applicability of this evidence to screen-detected populations is limited.
Balance of Benefits and Harms The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for OSA in asymptomatic adults.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to

Current as of: January 2017

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. January 2017.

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