Nesreen E. Morsy, Nesrine S. Farrag, Nevin F.W. Zaki, Ahmad Y. Badawy, Sayed A. Abdelhafez, Abdel-Hady El-Gilany, Mohsen Mohammed El Shafey, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, David Warren Spence, Ahmed S. BaHammam
May 14, 2019
Introduction Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a widely prevalent sleep-related breathing disorder, which leads to several life-threatening diseases. OSA has systemic effects on various organ systems. Untreated OSA is associated with long-term health consequences including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, metabolic disorders, and stroke. In addition, untreated OSA is reported to be associated with cognitive dysfunction, impaired productivity at the workplace and in an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) resulting in injury and fatality. Other consequences of OSA include, but are not limited to, impaired vigilance, daytime somnolence, performance deficits, morning headaches, mood disturbances, neurobehavioral impairments, and general malaise. Additionally, OSA has become an economic burden on most health systems all over the world. Many driving license regulations have been developed to reduce MVAs among OSA patients. Methods Studies of the personal, societal, public health, and legal aspects of OSA are reviewed. Data were collected through the following databases: MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Scopus, SAGE Research Methods, and ScienceDirect. Conclusion OSA leads to worsening of patients’ personal relationships, decreasing work productivity, and increasing occupational accidents as well as MVAs. The costs of undiagnosed and untreated OSA to healthcare organizations are excessive. Thus, proper management of OSA will benefit not only the patient but will also provide widespread benefits to the society as a whole.