Studies Reveal Nordic Differences in Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Treatments of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) differ considerably between the Nordic countries, a survey carried out by the Nordic Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Centres reveals. The survey is based on OSAS studies from all the Nordic countries as well as documentation on the diagnosis criteria and the effects of treatment.
 Studies Reveal Nordic Differences in Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is usually treated with a mouth guard (snore guard), a breathing machine or mask, or by surgical solutions. According to the HTA report, both mouth guards and breathing machines have documented effects, while the effects of surgical solutions are unclear or undocumented. The side effects of surgical treatments can be serious.

A comparison of OSAS treatments in the Nordic countries shows that surgery is widespread in Norway: 2 800 surgeries were performed in 2003, compared to only 188 in Denmark. Mouth guards are common in Sweden, 6 700 Swedish patients received this treatment in 2003. However, they are hardly used in Norway: only 12 patients received moth guards to treat their Sleep Apnea Syndrome in 2003.

More research is needed to document the assumed effect of surgery, the report concludes. Studies to document long term effects and side effects are also necessary.