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Sleep Disorders |

Sleep Medicine in India: Are Patients Better Informed Than Referral Physicians? FREE TO VIEW

Nagarajan Ramakrishnan*, MBBS; Lakshmi Ranganathan, MS; Mary Isabel, BS; Hema Deenadayalan, MS
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Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, Chennai, India


Chest. 2012;142(4_MeetingAbstracts):1069A. doi:10.1378/chest.1371241
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Abstract

SESSION TYPE: Sleep Posters

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: Sleep medicine in India is a growing medical subspecialty and free standing sleep centres are far and few. This study aims to exemplify the profile of patients presenting to the first free standing comprehensive sleep centre in India.

METHODS: Descriptive study conducted at Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, Chennai, reporting the profile of patients that visited the Sleep Centre from July 2004 to December 2010.

RESULTS: The total number of new patients who presented to the Centre in the period was 1765, with steady increase in numbers over the years (67 in 2004, 119 in 2005, 251 in 2006, 230 in 2007, 296 in 2008, 379 in 2009 and 423 in 2010). There was a predominance of male patients (76.2%) and those in age group of 41-50 yrs representing the highest proportion (24%) and pediatric age group representing the least (4%). The most common presenting sleep disorder was Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) (47%), followed by Insomnia (45%). Circadian Rhythm problems constituted 4.5%, and Restless Leg Syndrome, Seizures and Bruxism together contributed to 2.8%. 42.87% of patients were referred by other physicians, while majority presented on their own based on information available on print media and internet. Subgroup analysis revealed that 54% of the OSA patients and 35% of the Insomnia patients were referred to the Sleep specialist by other physicians. Patients who follow up are usually less, although the percentage has increased over the years (52.4% in 2010 against 10.08% in 2005).

CONCLUSIONS: Awareness about sleep problems and treatment options is steadily increasing in India although still far from desirable. OSA and Insomnia are leading problems, although circadian rhythm problems are also on the rise because of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry providing services to varied time zone.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The predominance of self-referrals in comparison to physician referrals highlights the impact of media and internet on knowledge dissemination to the public and also the need to include Sleep Medicine in medical curriculum.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Nagarajan Ramakrishnan, Lakshmi Ranganathan, Mary Isabel, Hema Deenadayalan

No Product/Research Disclosure Information

Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, Chennai, India

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