Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a frequent condition. In the absence of treatment, OSA is associated with a higher risk of traffic accidents and a large variety of diseases. The objectives of this study were to describe the characteristics of patients treated for OSA in France and assess the time trends in treatment.
The French National Health Data System is an individual database with data on all healthcare reimbursements for the entire French population. Based on this database, we included all patients aged 20 years or over who were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or mandibular advancement splint (MAS) between 2009 and 2018. Negative binomial models, adjusted for age, were used to assess time trends in treatment prevalence and incidence rates.
In 2017, 2.3% of French adults aged ≥20 years were treated with CPAP (men: 3.3%; women: 1.3%). The highest prevalence was observed in people aged 70-74 years (5.0%). From 2009 to 2018, the annual prevalence of CPAP increased 3-fold and the annual incidence 1.9-fold. During the same period, the rate of patients reimbursed for MAS (first prescription or renewal) was multiplied by 7.6. The proportion of patients treated with CPAP in 2017 who were no longer treated in the subsequent year was 6.9%.
The sharp increase in the incidence of OSA treatment probably reflects a better recognition of the disease in France. However, the prevalence of OSA treatment remains lower than expected based on the international literature. Further studies are needed to identify the obstacles to an optimal management of individuals with OSA in France.