New System Screens Heart Disease Patients for Severe Sleep Apnea

Many cardiovascular patients also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – an estimated 30-50 percent – although most of them are undiagnosed. A new computer screening tool, designed and patented by a University at Buffalo, is to be used to compare diagnoses versus polysomnography. It is designed to screen high risk patients who are left undiagnosed.  Since sleep apnea can also trigger heart attacks, atrial fibrillation and stroke thus placing patients with heart disease at greater risk.

The study, funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, is being conducted by a UB researcher at the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System. The goal is to evaluate how well the computer screening tool developed at UB diagnoses sleep

Body mass index, neck size and hypertension would be important criteria for this new computer screening tool.  If this new tool proves to be as accurate as polysomnography then it could provide a faster and more accessible means in the case of high risk patients. This study will conclude in december and the rsults will be available next year.

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