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Editorials |

Obstructive Sleep Apnea : Asleep in Our Consciousness No More

Michael Littner, MD, FCCP; Cathy Alessi, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Sepulveda, CA
 ,  Dr. Littner is Faculty, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and Professor of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Alessi is Faculty, Geriatric Medicine, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and Associate Professor of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Michael Littner, MD, FCCP, Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Sepulveda VAMC, 16111 Plummer St, Sepulveda, CA 91343-2036



Chest. 2002;121(6):1729-1730. doi:10.1378/chest.121.6.1729
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It has long been suspected that there is a gross underrecognition of sleep disorders by health-care providers. Attempts to identify and remedy this date back, in part, to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR), which met over 18 months from 1990 to 1991, and released volume one of its report in January 1993, and volume two in 1995.1 In volume one, the commission concluded that “millions of Americans are affected by sleep disorders” (page 17) and that “18 million people in the United States” (page 33) were estimated to have obstructive sleep apnea with an apnea/hypopnea index > 5/h of sleep. The commission also concluded that “evidence … suggests that the vast majority of Americans with sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated” (page 17).

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