Yi Cai, MD: Improving Sleep Care in Minority Communities


The results of the study presented at SLEEP 2023 were statistically significant, but not clinically meaningful.

New research presented during the SLEEP 2023 Annual Conference in Indianapolis shows that Black patients with obstructive sleep apnea had a statistically significant, yet a clinically insignificant difference in mean positive airway pressure level compared to White patients.

In the study, a team of investigators led by Yi Cai, MD, Associate Fellow, Sleep Medicine and Sleep Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, retrospectively looked at adult patients with OSA who were prescribed auto-adjusting PAP (aPAP) therapy at a single academic center between January 2018 and January 2020.

The results of the 378 patient study show Black patients on average had less severe disease, although the difference was not statistically significant.

In addition, Black patients had a 0.62 cm H2O (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-1.03) higher mean PAP level than White patients (P = 0.003). There was also a larger racial difference found in the mean PAP level among men (0.76 cm H2O; 95% CI, 0.16-1.35; P = 0.013) compared to a non-significant difference among women (0.34 cm H2O 95% CI, -0.23 to 0.91; P = 0.242).

In an interview with HCPLive®, Cai talked about the results and why it is important to study racial differences when assessing and deciding on the right course of action for patients with OSA and other sleep disorders.

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