Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 995–996 | Cite as

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and public health: the Italian way

  • Antonio Sanna
  • Desiderio Passali
  • Michele De Benedetto
  • Giancarlo Marano
  • Michele Loglisci
  • Sergio Garbarino
ENT • Letter to the Editors

Dear Editor,

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is an underdiagnosed chronic disease with a very high prevalence in adults. Patients with untreated OSAS are at significantly increased risk of comorbidities as well motor vehicle accidents and work accidents.

In order to counteract the impact of OSAS on public health in Italy, the Italian Minister of Health has approved a new approach that is aimed at preventing and making an early diagnosis of OSAS in adults and children. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a holistic model planned by a national institution.

OSAS is a chronic disease with an estimated prevalence of 23.4% in women and 49.7% in men over 40 years of age [1]. Patients with untreated OSAS are at significantly increased risk of cerebro-cardiovascular, metabolic and neurocognitive disease, motor vehicle accidents [2], and work accidents [3]. For these reasons, OSAS has an adverse impact on quality of life and life expectancy, with a substantial adverse impact...


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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    Garbarino S, Guglielmi O, Sanna A, Mancardi GL, Magnavita N (2016) Risk of occupational accidents in workers with obstructive sleep apnea: systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep 39(6):1211–1218CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Sanna
    • 1
  • Desiderio Passali
    • 2
  • Michele De Benedetto
    • 3
  • Giancarlo Marano
    • 4
  • Michele Loglisci
    • 2
  • Sergio Garbarino
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Azienda USL Toscana Centro, Pneumology UnitSan Jacopo HospitalPistoiaItaly
  2. 2.ENT DepartmentUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryHospital FazziLecceItaly
  4. 4.Directorate-Generale for health prevention—Ministry of HealthRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal-Infantile Sciences (DINOGMI)University of GenoaGenoaItaly
  6. 6.State Police Health Service Department, Ministry of the InteriorRomeItaly

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