Sleep apnea is a significant health issue in the United States. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause several problems associated with poor sleep quality. Patients with the disorder report daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and memory or concentration issues. Emerging evidence also suggests untreated sleep apnea could be connected to more serious age-related diseases such as non-alcoholic liver disease, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson diseases, dementia, and type 2 diabetes.

On today’s show, I discuss general sleep apnea topics with the Chief Patient Officer of the American Sleep Apnea AssociationAdam Amdur.

How much sleep do we really need?

In addition, associate epidemiologist in the Division of Sleep and Circadium Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital , Dayna Johnson, PhD discusses research that looked at the prevalence of sleep apnea among African-American men and women living in Jackson, Miss., and participating in the Jackson Heart Sleep Study.

The Outbreak News This Week Radio Show, the first and only radio program dedicated to infectious disease and health news and information, airs every Sunday at 1 pm ET in the Tampa Bay area on AM 1380 The Biz and online at