March 7, 2024

Obstructive sleep apnea associated with risk of postoperative delirium

Editor's Note

Patients with a history of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have a higher risk of delirium after high-complexity surgeries but not after those of moderate complexity, according to findings published in the March issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia.  

The study included 46,352 hospital patients older than 60 years who underwent general anesthesia or procedural sedation for moderate-to-high-complexity procedures between 2009 and 2020 at a tertiary healthcare network in Massachusetts. Of the total, 1,694 patients (3.7%) developed delirium within 7 days of the procedure, 537 (3.2%) with OSA and 1,157 (4.0%) without OSA. Higher-complexity procedures, such as cardiac and thoracic surgery, put OSA patients at higher risk. However, this was not the case for moderate-complexity procedures, including general surgery.


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