20.01.2022 | Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article
Addressing rural health disparity with a novel hospital sleep apnea screening: Precision of a high-resolution pulse oximeter in screening for sleep-disordered breathing
Robert Stansbury, Varun Badami, Edward Rojas, Syeda Fatima Naqvi, Joshua Easterling, Mohamed Abdelfattah, Stuart F. Quan, Sunil Sharma
Sleep and Breathing
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High-resolution pulse oximetry (HRPO) may offer a low-cost and simple screening option for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) that could be vitally important in rural areas with limited healthcare resources and specialty care. Our team hypothesized that application of this technology to a broad cohort of rural dwelling hospitalized individuals would demonstrate congruence similar to previous urban studies comparing HRPO to portable sleep monitors.
This retrospective study was conducted at West Virginia University Hospital and compared indices obtained from HRPO with those obtained from a type III portable sleep monitor (PM) on the same night.
A total of 365 individuals underwent evaluation. The mean oxygen desaturation index (18.8 ± 19.3 events/h) from the HRPO was slightly higher than the mean respiratory event index (16.0 ± 18.1 events/h, p ≤ 0.001) from the PM. ROC curves were developed for thresholds of apnea severity predicted by the screening program. The AUC values for all three thresholds exceeded 0.92 and for a respiratory event index (REI) of ≥ 30 was 0.965. Indices from the PM and HRPO demonstrated agreement in those individuals with screening suggestive of moderate to severe disease.
This study demonstrates that use of HRPO in screening for SDB in hospitalized patients from rural communities is as accurate as PM and may serve as a simple cost-effective tool to address sleep health disparities in these regions with significant health inequity. Our data extend previous findings by applying HRPO to a larger hospitalized cohort with highly prevalent cardiopulmonary disease.