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Ed Miliband's operation Raises Awareness Of Sleep Apnoea In The UK PDF Print Email

Ed Miliband's operation Raises Awareness Of Sleep Apnoea In The UK


Labour Party leader Ed Miliband recently underwent an operation to cure his Obstructive Sleep Apnoea - a condition that affects 4% of middle-aged men but only 25% of whom are diagnosed. Despite being as common as diabetes, awareness of OSA and the effect it can have on a sufferer is far lower. The impact of having a major figure such as Mr Miliband bringing the condition to the public’s attention has seen a sharp increase in the number of people going to get themselves tested for the condition.


Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition that affects one in 25 middle-aged men but many do not realise they have it. One study showed that on average, sufferers will have the condition for eight years before being diagnosed. OSA is a condition that causes you to stop breathing temporarily while you sleep, as your throat collapses and you momentarily choke.


This causes your brain to wake up and get you breathing again, but your body stays asleep so you do not realise it has happened. However, this can happen as frequently as one hundred times every hour - meaning you never truly sleep. Sufferers wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed, despite having seemingly slept through the night.


"Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a condition that affects the lives and livelihoods of thousands of men in the UK, yet most do not realize they have it" says Intus Healthcare's Tom Parr. "They will feel tired and lethargic throughout the day, more irritable, less focussed and are unwittingly putting themselves at risk at work and while driving, as they could simply fall asleep in a second due to exhaustion. However most simply do not realize what is causing the problem - or how to go about dealing with it."


"Intus Healthcare offer an at-home sleep test service for those who suspect they may have OSA, and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking these tests since Ed Miliband had his operation. Getting treatment for OSA can really change people’s lives, so having a public figure bring the condition to people’s attention is fantastic for raising the awareness of OSA. It is helping more people get their condition under control, and get back to their normal selves again."


For more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, including causes, symptoms and how to get tested, please visit


Key facts about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:


- OSA affects around 4 out of 100 middle-aged men, and 2 out of 100 middle-aged women.


- The key symptoms include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, poor memory and concentration, impotence, reduced sex drive, irritability, headaches


- OSA if left untreated increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure " 75% of OSA sufferers are undiagnosed"


- OSA makes you 15 times more likely to be involved in a road accident  "300 people are killed in road accidents caused by sleepiness every year"


- 20% of all road accidents are caused by tired drivers


- Certain careers can increase the risk of OSA. For example, 16% of truck drivers are thought to have the condition - making them four times as likely than average