Nearly 1 billion people globally have sleep apnea, but 80% remain diagnosed. Could you be at risk?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a health-threatening, sleep-disordered breathing condition that currently affects over 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea causes your body to involuntarily stop breathing multiple times during the night. As a result, your body is unable to inhale the oxygen needed to mentally and physically repair itself. You may stop breathing due to your upper airway becoming blocked or due to your brain failing to send the proper signals designed to keep you breathing.

STOP-Bang is a questionnaire used to assess your risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Your answers to just 8 short questions can quickly and accurately determine not only your likelihood of having the disorder, but also the likely severity.

How accurate is it? The sensitivity of the STOP-Bang questionnaire in detecting a positive result is 93% for moderate OSA and 100% for severe!

The quiz consists of two sections: The four STOP questions cover symptoms commonly associated with OSA, while the four BANG questions cover physical attributes that are tied to higher-risk demographics. (STOP-Bang is an acronym for the metrics which it rates: Snoring, Tiredness, Observed apnea, high Blood-pressure, Age, Neck circumference, and Gender.)

It’s estimated that 80% of moderate to severe cases of OSA remain undiagnosed. Yet if untreated, OSA is a dangerous condition associated with a higher risk of death from all causes.

Laboratory sleep tests, or polysomnograms, are the most effective way to diagnose sleep-disordered breathing, but they are both expensive and intrusive. In order to make diagnosis more accurate for those with OSA (and avoid costly and unnecessary tests for those without) doctors needed a convenient and reliable screening tool to prioritize risk.

The STOP-Bang questionnaire can help you and your physician decide whether further testing is warranted, and whether an in-lab or at-home sleep test is the right choice for you.

The STOP-Bang questionnaire is not a diagnostic tool, only an assessment of risk. Its results should be used as part of a conversation with your physician or healthcare provider.

The higher your risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the more accurate the STOP-Bang questionnaire is. This means that a mid-to-high range score should be taken seriously; however, it also means that a low score does not entirely dismiss the possibility of having OSA.

STOP-Bang also cannot assess for other sleep-disordered breathing conditions, such as Central Sleep Apnea.
If you experience one or more of the symptoms associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, take the STOP-Bang quiz and discuss your results with your doctor.