TUESDAY, May 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Sleep problems are costing the United States health care a new study finds that the system has about $ 95 billion a year and increases the cost of health care by 60%.
The researchers found that the number of doctor visits and prescriptions almost doubled in people with to sleep problems like sleep apnea i insomnia, compared to people without these conditions. People with sleep problems were also more likely to visit emergency rooms and have more illnesses.
“Our estimates are likely to be low, as we know that there are a large number of patients not yet diagnosed with a disorder such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia, ”said researcher Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, an ear, nose and throat doctor at Boston’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital.
“If as a country we continue this pattern, this huge burden on the healthcare system will grow and affect patient care for everyone,” he said in a hospital press release.
For the study, Bhattacharyya and colleagues examined differences in health care costs among about 22,000 American patients with and without sleep disorder.
They found that nearly 6% of respondents had at least one sleep disorder, nearly 14 million American adults. But it is likely to be an understatement, as insomnia only affects 10% to 20% of the population.
These people cost about $ 7,000 more in general health care expenses a year compared to people without sleep disorders.
In addition, patients with sleep disorders have more than 16 visits to the office and about 40 medication prescriptions a year, compared to nearly nine visits and 22 prescriptions for those without sleep disorder.
The costs of non-health care derived from work, school or other social obligations, and the decrease in productivity related to symptoms, only add to the cost to society, the researchers noted.
“The degree to which sleep disorders increased costs and visits and prescriptions was somewhat surprising and suggests that sleep disorders and the effects of poor sleep quality may be underestimated,” he said. researcher Dr. Phillip Huyett, director of Mass Eye and Ear Sleep Surgery.
“The importance of high-quality sleep is strongly associated with daytime function and long-term health problems, and as our study demonstrates, there are also financial ramifications,” the statement said.
Getting a diagnosis with signs of sleep problems can lead to effective treatment.
“Fortunately, studies have shown that treating certain sleep disorders effectively reduces the use and costs of health care. Therefore, sleep problems should not be ignored. Greater recognition of sleep disorders is essential. and an early referral to a sleep specialist, ”Huyett said. “Your sleep is important, and if there is a problem with your sleep, seek help for it.”
The report was published on May 10 in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
For more information on sleep problems, see the document Sleep foundation.
SOURCE: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital, press release, May 10, 2021