British Lung Foundation and Philips Respironics to raise awareness
of obstructive sleep apnoea
11 April 2011
UK charity, The British Lung Foundation and Philips
Respironics, have partnered to create a three year programme that aims
to raise public awareness and improve diagnosis of obstructive sleep
In the UK it is estimated that over one million people may be
suffering from OSA, with prevalence being higher in men and those
that are overweight.
To date only 10% of sufferers are aware of their condition and
are being treated to alleviate their symptoms. Obstructive sleep
apnoea is a disorder that is characterised by the airway collapsing
(behind the tongue) during sleep, which stops breathing. This can
result in snoring, laboured breathing, gasping and choking. The
collapsing of the airway is followed by attempts to breathe leading
to a fitful and restless night’s sleep. If untreated, it can
contribute to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes,
heart attacks and strokes.
The three year partnership between Philips Respironics and The
British Lung Foundation will begin with a research programme to
uncover issues and opportunities to improve the awareness of OSA and
diagnosis channels and treatment for patients.
The research will form the backbone of discussions of the
advisory panel who will lobby the findings onto the health agendas
throughout the UK. This activity will be coupled with a
communications programme where the latest educational materials
about OSA will be developed for both healthcare providers and the
public. The activity will culminate in pilot OSA testing events
throughout the country.
Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive, British Lung Foundation,
said: "Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) doesn't just affect your
health; the interrupted sleep reduces your ability to work and
leaves people at risk of accidents and in danger of falling asleep
throughout the day. Many thousands of people suffer from this
condition yet few people are diagnosed.
"The British Lung Foundation will be carrying out a range of
activities over the next few years to raise awareness of OSA and the
help that's on offer. We will also be gathering information about
the patient pathway to drive improvements. We're delighted to be
working in this area of health as it has been an ambition of ours
for some time"
Darren Umbers, Regional Director, Philips Respironics UK, said,
“OSA can be easily and effectively treated using a simple Continuous
Positive Airway Press (CPAP) device, which can greatly improve the
health and well-being of patient’s lives. However, sleep disorders
do not always get the recognition they deserve as a major public
health issue. In partnering with The British Lung Foundation, our
aim is to show the serious side of sleep and help many undiagnosed
suffers in the UK.”