Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder whose prevalence is increasing in China consistent with rising obesity trends. OSA is a heterogeneous disorder depends on anatomical and nonanatomical risk factors. Ethnicity differentially influences the attribution of these OSA risk factors. Chinese patients had more craniofacial bony restriction and Caucasians were more obese. This suggests ethnic differences in potential applications for diagnostics and therapeutics. However, current strategies for the management of OSA reflect a one-size-fits-all approach based on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Although continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) remains the first-line and most efficacious treatment for OSA, the acceptance is unacceptably low in China. Therefore, targeted therapies to treat OSA need to be developed. This review summarizes the differences in OSA pathogenesis of Chinese patients and analyzes the current condition of personalized medicine to patients with OSA in China. The application of personalized medicine to OSA in the Chinese population is still a long way off.
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