Screening for obstructive sleep apnoea using the STOPBANG questionnaire and the Epworth sleepiness score in patients admitted on the unselected acute medical take in a UK hospital

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Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is often overlooked in patients presenting to primary and secondary care, is an increasingly common comorbidity. The prevalence of OSA has not been studied in the unselected acute medical take. The aim of this study was to screen for the prevalence of undiagnosed OSA using the STOPBANG Questionnaire and the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) score in an unselected acute medical take. This was a cross-sectional study in a busy UK general hospital. Patient demographics, comorbidities, ESS and STOPBANG scores on unselected acute medical takes were reviewed and analysed to assess the prevalence of OSA. Of 93 patients screened, more than 50% were obese. The STOPBANG score was ≥3 in 73%. The ESS was significantly increased (≥11) in 20%. On multivariate analysis, ESS continued to remain independently associated with the STOPBANG score with a p-value of 0.04. The routine use of the STOPBANG questionnaire followed by an ESS score in those with a score of ≥3 may focus evaluation for undetected OSA in the acute medical care setting.

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