A community-oriented framework to increase screening and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea among blacks

Natasha J. Williams, Girardin Jean-Louis, Joeseph Ravenell, Azizi Seixas, Nadia Islam, Chau Trinh-Shevrin, Gbenga Ogedegbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a leading sleep disorder that is disproportionately more prevalent in minority populations and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. OSA is associated with many chronic conditions including hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, all of which are disproportionately more prevalent among blacks (ie, peoples of African American, Caribbean, or African descent). Methods: This article reviews studies conducted in the United States (US) that investigated sleep screenings and adherence to treatment for OSA among blacks. In addition, guidelines are provided for implementing a practical framework to increase OSA screening and management among blacks. Results: Several studies have documented racial/ethnic disparities in adherence to treatment for OSA. However, despite its public health significance, there is a paucity of studies addressing these disparities. Further, there is a lack of health programs and policies to increase screening and treatment of OSA among blacks and other minority populations. A practical framework to increase the number of blacks who are screened for OSA and treated appropriately is warranted. Such a framework is timely and major importance, as early identification of OSA in this high-risk population could potentially lead to early treatment and prevention of CVD, thereby reducing racial and ethnic disparities in sleep-related CVD morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • African American
  • Black
  • Community-based
  • Minorities
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Positive airway pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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