Saturday, November 20, 2010

MEDICARE ALERT - What the 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule means for your ability to receive quality health care coverage

This issue is relevant to anyone on Medicare or Tricare

OR anyone related to anyone on Medicare/Tricare

OR any one on an insurance indexed to Medicare (everyone with commercial insurance)....

Your access to quality health care may be in jeopardy unless Congress acts to halt cuts in payments for Medicare and TRICARE patients effective Jan. 1. With cuts averaging 30 percent, clinicians will have difficulty covering the costs of medical services. Physicians including your sleep specialist will be forced to cut costs and limit the number of Medicare and TRICARE patients that they see. The AASM needs your help to stop these cuts.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sleep Apnea risk factor for Coronary Artery Disease

From Medscape Medical News

New Findings Support Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a Risk Factor for Coronary Artery Disease
Becky McCall

September 24, 2010 (Barcelona, Spain) — The latest findings from a Swedish study suggest that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might be a stronger risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) than commonly recognized factors like obesity, diabetes, smoking, and hypertension, and even more prevalent in the CAD population than has been previously reported.

Here at the European Respiratory Society 2010 Annual Congress, Yuksel Peker, MD, a pulmonologist at Skaraborg Hospital in Skövde, Sweden, presented the latest findings from the ongoing Randomized Intervention with CPAP in Coronary Artery Disease and Sleep Apnoea (RICCADSA) trial.


The study is ongoing, Dr. Peker acknowledged, but analyses of baseline demographics and comorbidity profiles continue to strongly support OSA as a risk factor for CAD.

Dr. Peker said that not only is the prevalence of OSA "surprisingly high," these patients do not always show typical symptoms such as sleepiness.

"We found that the prevalence of OSA is 64% in the CAD population. This is very high. Hypertension is 58% and obesity 28% [in this population], so OSA is much more common than more conventional risk factors. Of course, these comorbidities probably interact. In fact, CAD patients with OSA have far more comorbidities than CAD patients without OSA," he told Medscape Medical News.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sleep apnea tied to migraines, heart arrhythmia in Vikings' Percy Harvin

Report: Harvin dealing with sleep apnea

Last update: September 10, 2010 - 5:46 AM

NEW ORLEANS -- Percy Harvin has expressed confidence of late that doctors are confident they have found a way to manage the wide receiver's issue with migraine headaches.

But Harvin had refused to elaborate on the topic until Thursday.

Harvin told NBC reporter Andrea Kremer that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and that doctors believe that is the main issue triggering migraine headaches that kept Harvin out for much of training camp.

Harvin had an extremely scary moment during the preseason when he collapsed on the field at Winter Park after the onset of another migraine. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and said his heart stopped beating for 10 seconds while he was there. Doctors began to believe that Harvin was not getting enough oxygen while sleeping.....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sleepiness and health in midlife women

Sleepiness and health in midlife women: results of the National Sleep Foundation's 2007 Sleep in America poll.

Chasens ER, Twerski SR, Yang K, Umlauf MG.

Behav Sleep Med. 2010 Jul;8(3):157-71.


The 2007 Sleep in America poll, a random-sample telephone survey, provided data for this study of sleep in community-dwelling women aged 40 to 60 years. The majority of the respondents were post- or perimenopausal, overweight, married or living with someone, and reported good health. A subsample (20%) reported sleepiness that consistently interfered with daily life; the sleepy subsample reported more symptoms of insomnia, restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, as well as more problems with health-promoting behaviors, drowsy driving, job performance, household duties, and personal relationships. Hierarchical regression showed that sleepiness along with depressive symptoms, medical comorbidities, obesity, and lower education were associated with poor self-rated health, whereas menopause status (pre-, peri- or post-) was not. These results suggest that sleep disruptions and daytime sleepiness negatively affect the daily life of midlife women.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Here is a link to the FULL text of an article on polycystic ovarian syndrome and sleep apnea. Many physicians are unaware of this link. And, the sleep apnea may contribute to sleepiness and other neuropsychological symptoms. Josh Rotenberg MD

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder of pre-menopausal women, is characterized by chronic hyperandrogenism, oligoanovulation, obesity and insulin resistance. Importantly, PCOS women are at increased risk for glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Recent reports indicate an unexpectedly high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in PCOS. Alterations in sex steroids (i.e. high androgen and low estrogen levels) and increased visceral adiposity in PCOS could potentially contribute to the increased prevalence of OSA in this disorder. There is some evidence to suggest that there may be strong associations between the presence and severity of OSA and the metabolic disturbances that characterize PCOS. Causal mechanisms in the link between PCOS and OSA remain to be elucidated. Clinicians who manage PCOS patients should be aware of the high prevalence of OSA in these patients and systematically evaluate these women for sleep disturbances.

Recent car crash or fender bender? Truck crash? Check your sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Of all occupations in the United States, workers in the trucking industry experience the third highest fatality rate, accounting for 12% of all worker deaths. In 2006, there were 368,000 police-reported large truck crashes, resulting in 4,321 fatalities and 77,000 injuries.1 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Among the strategies employed by the FMCSA to accomplish this goal are the development and maintenance of medical fitness standards for drivers of commercial vehicles; these standards are applied by medical examiners to commercial drivers, who are required by Federal statute to undergo medical qualification examinations at least every 2 years.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent and potentially dangerous condition among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. While OSA is conservatively estimated to affect approximately 5% of the general population,2 the condition appears to be much more prevalent in commercial drivers. Howard et al. estimated that 50% of more than 3000 commercial drivers were at risk for sleep apnea.3 Pack et al. found that 28.2% of 406 commercial drivers had at least mild sleep apnea and 4.7% had severe sleep apnea by conventional criteria.4 The majority of research indicates that OSA is a significant cause of motor vehicle crashes.3,59 Thus, assessment of the risk of OSA and development of effective methods to identify and treat commercial drivers with OSA is an important part of the mission of the FMCSA. Since the most recent standards for medical examiners regarding OSA are from a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored conference in 1991,10 these standards required an evidence-based update.
The current study was designed to provide evidence for updating the standards by conducting a systematic review of the relevant literature concerning OSA and CMV drivers. The literature consists predominantly of cohort and case-control studies. Given that few studies specifically enroll CMV drivers, studies that included non-CMV drivers were also evaluated.
The primary objective of this study was to determine whether individuals with OSA are at an increased risk for a motor vehicle crash when compared to individuals without OSA. If so, a secondary objective was to identify disease-related factors associated with an increased motor vehicle crash risk.

DESIGN/SETTING: Seven electronic databases (MEDLINE, PubMed (PreMEDLINE), EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, TRIS, and the Cochrane library) were searched (through May 27, 2009), as well as the reference lists of all obtained articles. We included controlled studies (case-control or cohort) that evaluated crash risk in individuals with OSA. We evaluated the quality of each study and the interplay between the quality, quantity, robustness, and consistency of the body of evidence, and tested for publication bias. Data were extracted by 2 independent analysts. When appropriate, data from different studies were combined in a fixed- or random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Individuals with OSA are clearly at increased risk for crash. The mean crash-rate ratio associated with OSA is likely to fall within the range of 1.21 to 4.89. Characteristics that may predict crash in drivers with OSA include BMI, apnea plus hypopnea index, oxygen saturation, and possibly daytime sleepiness.

CONCLUSIONS: Untreated sleep apnea is a significant contributor to motor vehicle crashes.

Why a polysomnogram should become part of the diagnostic evaluation of stroke and transient ischemic attack.

I try to communicate with patients every day that fixing sleep apnea adds extra useful years to your life. JR

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2006 Feb;23(1):21-38.

Why a polysomnogram should become part of the diagnostic evaluation of stroke and transient ischemic attack.

Grigg-Damberger M.

Pediatric Sleep Services, University Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, and Department of Neurology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA.


Neurologists need to recognize, diagnose, and treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Increasing medical evidence suggests that OSA is an independent risk factor for stroke and TIA. Stroke (or TIA) is more likely a cause, rather than a consequence, of OSA because PSG studies have shown: 1) apneas in stroke are typically obstructive, not central or Cheyne-Stokes in type; 2) apneas are just as frequent and severe in patients with either TIA or stroke; 3) OSA severity is not influenced by the acuteness or location of the stroke; 4) untreated OSA patients have more strokes, stroke morbidity, and mortality than those who are treated. OSA alone can induce hypertension, especially in younger men. A causal relationship has recently been demonstrated between OSA and hypertension. A distinctive feature of OSA-induced hypertension is loss of the normal nighttime fall in blood pressure ("nondippers"). Data from the Sleep Heart Health Study showed a dose-response association between OSA severity and the presence of hypertension 4 years later. Hypertension or ischemic heart disease usually develops in untreated patients with OSA over time without particular worsening of OSA. Studies have shown sleep itself is not a risk factor for stroke because most stroke and TIAs begin between 6 am and noon, while the individual is awake. However, OSA promptly be considered in stroke beginning during sleep because 88% of strokes that develop during sleep occur in "nondippers." Premature death in OSA patients is most often cardiovascular, but occurs while the patients are awake. The risk of myocardial infarction is increased 20-fold in untreated OSA. Treating OSA patients with continuous positive airway pressure can prevent or improve hypertension, reduce abnormal elevations of inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules, reduce excessive sympathetic tone, avoid increased vascular oxidative stress, reverse coagulation abnormalities, and reduce leptin levels. If all this can be achieved by a polysomnogram, then this test should become part of a neurologist's armamentarium for stroke and TIA.

PMID: 16514349 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

At-Home Sleep Testing Equal to Overnight in a Sleep Lab in Treatment Results

At-Home Sleep Testing Equal to Overnight in a Sleep Lab in Treatment Results ...and CPAP outcomes are equivalent

ATS 2010, NEW ORLEANS—Patients with suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

may no longer have to spend an expensive and uncomfortable night at a sleep center to

monitor their sleep-disordered breathing. According to new research, those who

performed sleep testing in their home with portable monitors showed similar

improvements after three months of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure

(CPAP) in daytime function as compared to patients who underwent overnight testing in

a sleep center.

Furthermore, patient adherence to CPAP over the first three months of treatment was

similar in patients with OSA who received home versus in-lab testing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is the outcome of home sleep testing worse than the lab? No!

Chest. 2010 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Outcomes of home - based diagnosis and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Skomro RP, Gjevre J, Reid J, McNab B, Ghosh S, Stiles M, Jokic R, Ward HA, Cotton D.

1 University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK., Canada.


INTRODUCTION: Home diagnosis and therapy of OSA may improve access to testing and CPAP treatment. We compared subjective sleepiness, sleep quality, quality of life, blood pressure and CPAP adherence after four weeks of CPAP therapy in subjects diagnosed and treated at home and in those evaluated in the sleep laboratory.

Conclusions: Compared with the home-based protocol, diagnosis and treatment of OSA in the sleep laboratory does not lead to superior four-week outcomes in sleepiness scores, sleep quality, quality of life, blood pressure, and CPAP adherence.

PMID: 20173052 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Floppy Eyelids Increase the risk of Sleep Apnea

Floppy Eyelids and Sleep Apnea - Your optometrist can save your life...

When physicians see a patient with floppy eyelid syndrome, they should also screen for obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome, new research has shown.

In a small study, those with the condition -- characterized by rubbery upper eyelids -- had a 12.5-fold increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea, Daniel G. Ezra, MD, of Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and colleagues reported in the April issue of Ophthalmology.

Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke - Adds 10 years

Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke

Even Mild Sleep Apnea Puts Men in Danger

"Our findings provide compelling evidence that obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for stroke, especially in men, " noted Redline. "Overall, the increased risk of stroke in men with sleep apnea is comparable to adding 10 years to a man’s age. Importantly, we found that increased stroke risk in men occurs even with relatively mild levels of sleep apnea. "
Gret news!

I am now in network with Kelsey Seybold and Humana!


Monday, March 1, 2010

FOR KIDS: Making light of sleep
Teens are prone to sleep problems, but a little sunshine could help

By Susan Gaidos Web edition : 1:10 pm

Maybe this has happened to you: In the middle of class, while you pretended to be paying attention to the teacher’s lecture, your eyelids started to droop. You began having second thoughts about staying up late on Facebook the night before.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your computer screen may be to blame. And your clock may be too. Not the clock on your nightstand, but the one in your head. All mammals have a clock located inside their brains. Similar to your bedside alarm clock, your internal clock runs on a 24-hour cycle. This cycle, called a circadian rhythm, helps regulate when you wake, when you eat and when you sleep.

Somewhere around puberty, something happens in the timing of the biological clock. The clock pushes forward, so adolescents and teens are unable to fall asleep as early as they used to. When your mother tells you it’s time for bed, your body may be pushing you to stay up for several hours more. And the light coming from your computer screen or TV could be pushing you to stay up even later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sleep Apnea and Progressive Brain Damage

Sleep Apnea and Progressive Brain Damage

Researchers have found yet another reason why people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) should get tested and treated for the disease. According to a recent study published in the journal SLEEP, patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome demonstrated reduced brain gray matter concentration. "Gray matter" refers to the cerebral cortex, where most information processing in the brain takes place.

Principal investigator Seung Bong Hong, MD, PhD explained, "...poor sleep quality and progressive brain damage induced by OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) could be responsible for poor memory, emotional problems, decreased cognitive functioning and increased cardiovascular disturbances… The use of continuous positive airway pressure - CPAP - therapy could stop further progression of brain damage in patients with severe OSA."

If you are not sure whether or not you have sleep apnea, here are some signs you can look for –

  • Chronic snoring is a strong indicator of sleep apnea and should be evaluated by a health professional.
  • Since people with sleep apnea tend to be sleep deprived, they may suffer from sleeplessness.

Reduced Brain Gray Matter Concentration in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome