The company reached the 170 million figure based on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) 2012 criteria and termed it a “conservative” estimate. The figure represents 37% of adults on the two continents.
ResMed presented the study results at the annual SLEEP meeting hosted by AASM and the Sleep Research Society. The new data emerged from a deeper analysis of a previous ResMed study that found 936 million people worldwide have the condition, according to the company.
The three countries with the highest number of cases are the United States (54 million), Brazil (49 million), and Colombia (11 million), the company noted.
“Previous estimates stated 100 million worldwide have sleep apnea. Now we know it’s nearly double that in just the Americas alone,” said study coauthor and ResMed chief medical officer Dr. Carlos Nunez in a news release. “Given how common sleep apnea is, especially among people with other common diseases, doctors should screen their high-risk patients and help those who are diagnosed get onto life-changing treatment as soon as possible.”