The STOP BANG test for sleep apnea risk

What's my risk for sleep apnea?

Most people do not know they have sleep apnea, even their partners may not be aware. It is predicted that up to 15% of the population has obstructive sleep apnea, and that most are un-diagnosed. 

There is a questionnaire developed to determine one's risk of having obstructive sleep apnea. The STOP BANG questionnaire was developed in Toronto and is used globally to help determine whether a sleep study is needed. You may have guessed that STOP BANG is an acronym that we'll explain here.

S is for snoring of course! Snoring indicates that there is some disruption in the airway, and while it does not always lead to sleep apnea, it is a strong indication.

T stands for tired. If you are consistently tired during the day; drifting off, having naps, or just not able to make it through the day you could be experiencing disruptions in your sleep. 

O = observed. Perhaps someone you know has noticed that your breathing pauses at night, or that you seem to gasp for air. Maybe even you have woken yourself up at night, struggling to catch your breath. While it's normal to stop breathing up to 5 times an hour, any more and you could be looking at an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis. 

P means pressure, your blood pressure. A high blood pressure is just one indication of how sleep apnea can affect your body, although many other things can cause blood pressure issues. 

B stands for BMI. Your BMI is calculated by BMI = kg/m2. If it is greater than 35, you are at an increased risk of having OSA.

A is Age. As you age, your risk of sleep apnea increases, and if you are over the age of 50, your risk is significantly more. 

N is your neck circumference. Anything greater than 43 cms in men and 41 cms in women increases your risk of having sleep apnea. The larger your neck is, the more weight is put on your airway!

And finally G, which is your gender. Unfortunately, men are far more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea than women. 

The more "Yes's" you answer on this quiz, the greater your risk of sleep apnea. 0-2, and you have a low risk of sleep apnea, and don't have to worry too much about sleep apnea. 3-4 is a moderate risk of sleep apnea, so if you are concerned, it may be worth a conversation with your doctor. If you answered Yes 5-8 times, you have a high risk of sleep apnea. You should probably ask your doctor for a sleep test to look into your sleep. 

You can take your STOP BANG here. Your friends and family can too! And if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. 

Sleep apnea can be foreign and a bit scary, but with Medigas Manitoba, you are in good hands.

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