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J Korean Sleep Res Soc. 2007;4(1):30-33.         doi: https://doi.org/10.13078/jksrs.07006
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Socioeconomic Impact
Ho-Won Lee, Byung-Wook Kang, and Sung-Pa Park
1Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University
2Brain Science & Engineering Institute, Kyungpook National University
Corresponding Author: Ho-Won Lee ,Tel: +82-53-420-5769, Fax: +82-53-422-4265, Email: neuromd@knu.ac.kr
Received: 9 June 2007;  Accepted: 24 June 2007.
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This paper reviews some concepts on health economics. It then examines the few papers published on health economics analysis applied to the field of sleep apnea syndrome, as well as the literature on the indirect cost consequences of sleep apnea syndrome. It appears that undiagnosed sleep apnea results, roughly, in a two-fold increase in the medical expenses in the years preceding the diagnosis. Treating the disease results in a measurable decrease in these excess costs. It seems clear that untreated sleep apnea increases domestic, workplace and road accidents, which will carry a definite economic cost consequence. From the health economic point of view, the diagnostic strategy with the greater utility is not necessarily the less expensive one. From the patient perspective, sleep apnea decreases the ability to enjoy life, and its treatment is worth considering. The global image of the health costs related to sleep apnea is still blurred, and further work is required to get the complete and clear picture of the economic consequences of this disease and of its treatment.
Keywords: Sleep apnea | Socioeconomic impact | Health economics
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