Sleep Apnea Far From Slumbering Factor in the Respiratory Device Market

Sleep Apnea Far From Slumbering Factor in the Respiratory Device Market

Respiratory health in populations worldwide has been challenged by numerous factors including worsening air quality, substandard living conditions, other allergenic risk factors, and even economic development. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) have been significant factors fueling contemporary market growth in the global respiratory devices market according to Kalorama Information. The majority of the respiratory devices market is represented by inhalers or devices for the administration of pharmaceuticals to the respiratory system, common in the treatment of COPD and asthma. The fastest growing market segment through 2018, however, will be devices used for the treatment of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is the condition of chronic airway obstruction during sleep, potentially leading to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Airway obstruction leads to oxygen deprivation. Increased carbon dioxide blood levels stimulate the brain’s respiratory center to resume breathing (sometimes at a faster compensatory rate), which awakens the individual or disrupts the sleep cycle. Restless sleep, sleepiness and fatigue are often noticed by sufferers of sleep apnea. The following are the major underlying mechanisms or causes of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) - the most common form of sleep apnea; OSA is frequently found in individuals with low muscle tone and excessive soft tissue around the airway, typically in obese and aged individuals; OSA risk increases with body weight, smoking, age and diabetes
  • Central apnea - imbalances in the brain’s respiratory control center lead to a delayed neurological response to carbon dioxide blood levels; breathing may become faster after a pause in respiratory activity
  • Mixed apnea - a combination of central apnea and OSA; may result after longstanding OSA and the consequent development of central apnea

The prevalence of sleep apnea is not surprising given its risk factors including age, body weight, diabetes, and smoking. Among U.S. men aged 30 to 60 years old, the prevalence of sleep apnea is estimated at 9-24%, but only 4-9% for U.S. women in the same age group. Sleep apnea prevalence in diabetics is estimated at almost 50%, 77% for obese individuals, and 87% among obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. In addition to the over 20 million North American individuals believed to suffer from sleep apnea, there may be 30 million individuals in Europe and 220 million in the Asia-Pacific with the condition.

The majority of the sleep apnea device market is served by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) systems consisting of a flow generator that feeds a constant, controllable air pressure into the patient’s airway via a hose and mask over the nose. Some CPAP devices reduce air pressure upon exhalation to increase patient comfort, though such a feature is standard with bi-level positive airway pressure (PAP) systems intended for more sleep-sensitive patients or those with other respiratory issues. Automatic PAP (APAP) systems continuously adjust air pressure to accommodate variable patient breathing and reduce resistive pressure during exhalation.

In The Worldwide Market for Respiratory Devices, Kalorama Information provides extensive market segmentation for respiratory devices including inhalers, nebulizers, airways, masks, sleep apnea devices, oxygen therapy systems, ventilators, medical humidifiers, and respiratory measurement devices. The report also provides device-specific market segmentation by industry player market share, major geographical area, and leading country markets.