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Economic Status a Prime Factor in Sleep Device Rejection

Israeli study finds cost of device is third leading reason patients reject face mask in sleep apnea

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Socioeconomic status is a leading factor in the rejection of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment in adults with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, according to a report in the April 1 issue of Sleep.

Tzahit Simon-Tuval, of Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues studied 162 consecutive patients newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (defined as airflow reduction greater than 80 percent for 10 seconds or more while sleeping). The patients were prescribed CPAP treatment and the face mask and unit were provided for a two-week adaptation period. Four to six weeks following this trial period, each patient decided whether to buy or decline the device. The socioeconomic status of each patient was determined based on average monthly income categories defined by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

At endpoint, 97 of the patients (60 percent) declined the device and 65 patients (40 percent) elected to buy it, the researchers report. The reasons for declining included: uncomfortable side effects, such as inability to get comfortable; dry nasal and sinus passages (38 percent); an interest in other treatments (31 percent); device cost (29 percent); and an inability to adapt to the device (29 percent).

"For each increase in income level category, the odds of CPAP acceptance increased by 140 percent. Therefore, socioeconomic status should be addressed in terms of risk factors in the process of patient educational programs to improve CPAP acceptance and adherence," the authors write.

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