Clinician Article

Management of obstructive sleep apnea in adults: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians.

  • Qaseem A
  • Holty JE
  • Owens DK
  • Dallas P
  • Starkey M
  • Shekelle P
Ann Intern Med. 2013 Oct 1;159(7):471-83. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-7-201310010-00704. (Review)
PMID: 24061345
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  • Respirology/Pulmonology
    Relevance - 6/7
    Newsworthiness - 6/7
  • Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
    Relevance - 6/7
    Newsworthiness - 4/7
  • General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
    Relevance - 6/7
    Newsworthiness - 4/7
  • Internal Medicine
    Relevance - 5/7
    Newsworthiness - 4/7


DESCRIPTION: The American College of Physicians (ACP) developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations on the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults.

METHODS: This guideline is based on published literature from 1966 to September 2010 that was identified by using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. A supplemental MEDLINE search identified additional articles through October 2012. Searches were limited to English-language publications. The clinical outcomes evaluated for this guideline included cardiovascular disease (such as heart failure, hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction), type 2 diabetes, death, sleep study measures (such as the Apnea-Hypopnea Index), measures of cardiovascular status (such as blood pressure), measures of diabetes status (such as hemoglobin A1c levels), and quality of life. This guideline grades the evidence and recommendations using ACP's clinical practice guidelines grading system.

RECOMMENDATION 1: ACP recommends that all overweight and obese patients diagnosed with OSA should be encouraged to lose weight. (Grade: strong recommendation; low-quality evidence)

RECOMMENDATION 2: ACP recommends continuous positive airway pressure treatment as initial therapy for patients diagnosed with OSA. (Grade: strong recommendation; moderate-quality evidence)

RECOMMENDATION 3: ACP recommends mandibular advancement devices as an alternative therapy to continuous positive airway pressure treatment for patients diagnosed with OSA who prefer mandibular advancement devices or for those with adverse effects associated with continuous positive airway pressure treatment. (Grade: weak recommendation; low-quality evidence).

Clinical Comments

General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)

It's good to see these recommendations in a formal guideline but most are all standard practice already (e.g. losing weight, CPAP).

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