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John Francis Acquavella

Prevalence of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders and frequency of diagnostic tests from 2013-2016 in insured patients actively seeking care

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • John Acquavella
  • Reena Mehra, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • ,
  • Morgan Bron, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • ,
  • Joanna M.H. Suomi, Independent Consultant
  • ,
  • Gregory P. Hess, University of Pennsylvania

STUDY OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to describe trends in the 2-year limited duration prevalence of narcolepsy from 2013-2016 in a large insured population with claims activity. Secondary objectives were to assess the prevalence of other sleep disorders and the frequency of diagnostic sleep testing. METHODS: Nationwide medical/prescription claims (Symphony Health) were analyzed to estimate the annual prevalence per 100,000 persons of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea, idiopathic hypersomnia, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, periodic limb movement disorder) and the frequency of diagnostic sleep testing. Prevalence was adjusted to the age/sex distribution of the 2016 US census estimates. RESULTS: The prevalence of narcolepsy per 100,000 persons increased 14% from 38.9 in 2013 to 44.3 in 2016. Obstructive sleep apnea prevalence increased 41% over the study period from 2,429 to 3,420 per 100,000. Large increases in prevalence were also seen for idiopathic hypersomnia (32%), periodic limb movement disorder (30%), and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (64%). For each sleep disorder, prevalence was higher for those with commercial insurance versus Medicare/Medicaid, and markedly lower prevalence was observed for the Northeast compared with the Midwest, South, and Western US regions. The frequency of multiple sleep latency/maintenance of wakefulness testing declined by 20%, and polysomnography declined by 15%. Conversely, home sleep apnea testing increased by 117%. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and the other sleep disorders increased appreciably over the 2013-2016 period. It remains to be determined whether the trends seen in our analyses are due to increased incidence or increased awareness of these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Pages (from-to)1255-1263
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • idiopathic hypersomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, prevalence, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleep testing, Idiopathic hypersomnia, Prevalence, Sleep testing, Obstructive sleep apnea, REM sleep behavior disorder, Periodic limb movement disorder, Narcolepsy

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