According to a study led by ResMed and presented at the American Thoracic Society‘s annual International Conference, sleep apnea sufferers can benefit from PAP (positive airway pressure) treatment in as little as two hours each night.
The study looked at the deidentified usage data of 180,000 PAP users in the United States to see what their average rates of all-cause hospitalization and emergency room visits were based on the number of nightly hours they used PAP, which ranged from zero to nine.
The benefit threshold for PAP usage was 2-3 hours per night (up to 50 percent lower than the 4 hours required by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and many private payers to prove adherence)
Benefits start at 2 hours of nightly PAP use and rise by 1 hour every hour until you reach 7 hours each night.
The study’s benefits were shown after 90 days, one year, and two years.
Over the course of two years, each hour of nighttime PAP use reduced hospitalizations by 5.0 percent and ER visits by 4.4 percent.
Atul Malhotra, lead author and research chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of California San Diego, said, ““This study can positively change how healthcare professionals prescribe and encourage sleep apnea sufferers to use PAP – and how they’re covered.”
PAP therapy adherence is now defined by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as utilizing a PAP device for at least four hours.
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