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Am Fam Physician. 2022;106(6):723-724

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Key Points for Practice

• PAP, when tolerated, is the most effective treatment for OSA.

• Surgical treatment of upper airway obstruction reduces sleepiness, snoring, and blood pressure and improves quality of life.

• People with OSA and a body mass index of 35 kg per m2 or greater benefit from bariatric surgery, which improves excessive sleepiness, snoring, and oxygen saturation during sleep and reduces weight and blood pressure.

From the AFP Editors

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterized by periods of absent or inadequate breathing from intermittent airway obstruction. Untreated OSA can have cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurologic consequences and contributes to insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Addressing OSA can reduce sleepiness; improve snoring and sleep quality; improve quality of life; and reduce cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and motor vehicle crashes. Finding a therapy that patients will use is the key to OSA treatment.

To support physicians in making treatment plans to address adherence for patients with sleep apnea, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has updated its clinical practice guidelines on surgical referral for patients with OSA.

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Coverage of guidelines from other organizations does not imply endorsement by AFP or the AAFP.

This series is coordinated by Michael J. Arnold, MD, Assistant Medical Editor.

A collection of Practice Guidelines published in AFP is available at

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