One in two men and one in five women in Greece have sleep apnea syndrome. People with the condition are more likely to be involved in accidents due to the drowsiness that it creates, experience cognitive impairment and concentration lapses and develop cardiovascular disease.
Treating the syndrome significantly improves people’s quality of life and can even help with other conditions such as hypertension.
The relevant data regarding Greece was presented by Constantin Soldatos, professor of psychiatry and honorary president of the Hellenic Sleep Research Society, and Anastasia Amfilochiou, pulmonologist and director of the Sleep Study Unit at the Sismanogleio Hospital in Athens, during the American College of Greece’s seventh online lecture titled “Sleep Apnea Syndrome: A Clinical Entity Underestimated and Underdiagnosed,” which took place on Wednesday.
In particular, a 2008 epidemiological study in Greece showed that up to 7% of men and up to 5% of women suffered from this syndrome. In 2019, another study showed percentages reaching 50% for men and 18% and women. Amfilochiou predicted that the syndrome will take the form of a pandemic in men aged 40 to 60 by 2050, saying it is related to an increase in obesity, but also other factors.
Other determining factors are anatomy, smoking, consumption of alcohol and sedative pills, but also genetic factors.