Association of sleep-disordered breathing with total healthcare costs and utilization in older men: the Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men (MrOS Sleep) study

Tien N. Vo, Allyson M. Kats, Lisa Langsetmo, Brent C. Taylor, John T. Schousboe, Susan Redline, Ken M. Kunisaki, Katie L. Stone, Kristine E. Ensrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


STUDY OBJECTIVES: To determine the associations of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) with subsequent healthcare costs and utilization including inpatient and post-acute care facility stays among community-dwelling older men.

METHODS: Participants were 1,316 men (mean age 76.1 [SD = 5.7] years) in the Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men (MrOS sleep) study (from December 2003 to March 2005), who were enrolled in a Medicare Fee-For-Service plan. Primary SDB measures including apnea hypopnea index (AHI) and oxygen desaturation index (ODI) were collected using in-home level 2 polysomnography. Incident healthcare costs and utilization were determined from claims data in the subsequent 3-year period post-MrOS sleep visit.

RESULTS: Five hundred and twenty-nine (40.2%) men had at least one hospitalization in the 3-year period. Compared with those without sleep apnea (AHI < 5/hour), men with moderate to severe sleep apnea (AHI ≥ 15/hour) had a higher odds of all-cause hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] adjusted for age and site 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-1.90). This association was slightly attenuated after further adjustment for traditional prognostic factors including education, body mass index, comorbid medical conditions, and health status (OR = 1.36; 95% CI: 1.01-1.83). Similar associations were observed for ODI. However, measures of SDB were not related to subsequent healthcare costs (total or outpatient) or odds of post-acute skilled nursing facility stay.

CONCLUSIONS: Older men with SDB have an increased risk of hospitalization, not entirely explained by the greater prevalence of comorbid conditions, but not higher subsequent total healthcare costs. These findings indicate a need to evaluate the impact of SDB treatment on subsequent healthcare utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2020


Bibliographical note

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Sleep Research Society (SRS) 2019.


  • healthcare costs and utilizations
  • hospitalization
  • Medicare
  • older men
  • sleep apnea
  • sleep-disordered breathing

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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