OSA affects approximately 1.5 million adults in the UK, and experts suggest up to 80-85% suffers are undiagnosed. One of the main reasons for this is awareness levels of OSA in the UK are low. British Lung Foundation surveys conducted in 2011 and 2014 (linked below) indicate that although awareness of OSA is rising in the population, there is a significant number of people who have not heard of OSA. Similarly, awareness levels amongst GPs are low. In the BLF patient survey, 85% of people eventually diagnosed with OSA went to their GP about their symptoms. Nearly 11% of people were told not to worry or were given advice and no action was taken. Over 20% of people visited their GP on three or more occasions with their symptoms, and 7.5% of people visited the GP on five or more occasions.
The British Lung Foundation publication (below) analyses the health and cost consequences of OSA in the UK, and the possible benefits that more appropriate access to treatment could generate in the UK, from the perspective of patients, the NHS and society generally.