A 2015 study commissioned by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and prepared by the global research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan calculated that the annual economic burden of undiagnosed sleep apnea among U.S. adults is $146.6 billion per year. The estimated costs include:
- $86.9 billion in lost productivity
- $26.2 billion in motor vehicle accidents
- $6.5 billion in workplace accidents
- $30 billion in increased health care utilization and medication costs due to health complications such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression attributable to untreated sleep apnea
They also calculated that diagnosing and treating every patient in the United States who has sleep apnea would produce an annual economic savings of $100.1 billion.
Considering the fact that these numbers reflect the economic impact on the United States only, it’s hard to imagine the effects worldwide. The U.S. is certainly not alone in experiencing the growing trends of obesity and an aging population – two major causes of sleep apnea syndrome.