The recent findings from an AASM Foundation Strategic Research Award-funded study, “Recognition and Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Older Americans,” were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The study has also been selected to feature in Wiley’s Research Headlines – a mailing sent to more than 1,800 subscribing journalists that promotes a selection of the most newsworthy research published across Wiley’s journals.

The data was taken from 1,052 Medicare beneficiaries who completed a series of sleep questions surveys as part of the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), which is representative of more than 7 million Americans.

Results suggest that older Americans are often at a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, but the illness is vastly underdiagnosed.

Michigan Medicine researchers found evidence that 56 percent of people ages 65 and older have a high risk of OSA, which causes interruptions in breathing during the night. Shockingly, only 8 percent of those people have been tested for OSA, despite the major health risks that accompany it.

Further research is needed to investigate the impact of OSA on older patients. Read more about the study in a press release from the University of Michigan Health Lab.

Tiffany Braley, MD, MS, received the Strategic Research Award in 2015 for her project, “Recognition and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Among Medicare Beneficiaries.” Braley is an assistant professor of neurology at Michigan Medicine, and the co-first author of the published study, along with co-first author Galit Levi Dunietz, PhD, MPH, who is a postdoctoral research fellow in sleep epidemiology at Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Centers.