Full text available here. Readers will be delighted to learn I can do it (just) – but as the authors point out this doesn’t particularly rule OSA out…
A pilot study of the inability to fit hands around neck as a predictor of obstructive sleep apnea.
Background: Considering the high estimates of undiagnosed and untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there is a need for simple and accurate diagnostic tests. Neck circumference has long been correlated with OSA, but its usefulness as a diagnostic tool has been limited.
Aims: We proposed to evaluate the value of a simple neck grasp test to help identify OSA. We hypothesized that the inability of a patient in a sleep clinic to fit their hands around their neck is predictive of OSA.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of patients evaluated in a general sleep clinic was performed. Easy sleep apnea predictor (ESAP) positive was defined as the inability to place the hands around the neck with digits touching in the anterior and posterior. ESAP negative was the ability to place hands around the neck. Positive for OSA in this symptomatic sleep clinic population was defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of ≥5.
Results: A total of 47 subjects (36% female) had ESAP data available, which were reviewed. The mean age was 51.6 years (SD 14.4, range 29-81 years). The mean body mass index (BMI) was 38.8 (SD 9.9, range 20.4-69.5). Review showed 87.2% (N = 41) tested positive for OSA by AHI of ≥5. The sensitivity and specificity of ESAP were 68.3% and 100%, respectively. The positive predictive power was 100% and the negative predictive power was 31.6%.
As we hypothesized, ESAP positive (inability to span neck) was predictive of OSA in a population of sleep clinic patients. An ESAP positive test was 100% predictive of the presence of OSA (AHI of ≥5). ESAP shows promise for ease of clinical use to predict the presence of OSA in a general sleep clinic population.