Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Is responsible for 38,000 cardiovascular deaths yearly and costs 42 million dollars on related hospitalizations, according to estimates from the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. Untreated OSA leads to cardiovascular morbidity, automobile accidents, cognitive deficits, excessive daytime sleepiness and excess mortality. Fortunately, OSA treatment reduces risk for cardiovascular disease by 64%. Although OSA is a public health problem that disproportionately affects blacks, no systematic study has documented adherence to recommended OSA assessment and treatment at the community level. Preliminary evidence from a community-based study we conducted suggests that 43% of blacks screened with the ARES are at high OSA risk, but only 27% adhered to recommended OSA assessment. Evidence also suggests that blacks are less likely to adhere to OSA treatment. While few black patients adhered to physician's recommendations, evidence from our Sleep Disorders Center in Brooklyn, NY showed that 90% received a diagnosis. Effective behavioral interventions are needed to increase the number of blacks receiving OSA assessment and treatment. In a two-arm randomized controlled trial among 380 blacks at high OSA risk, we will evaluate effects of a culturally and linguistically tailored telephonedelivered behavioral intervention in increasing rates of OSA assessment and adherence to CPAP treatment. We will also evaluate Intervention effects on clinical outcomes (body mass index, lipid level, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose/HbAIC, and C-reactive protein). Volunteers will be recruited from black-owned barbershops, beauty salons, churches, and community centers in Brooklyn, NY. The long-term goal is to apply this Intervention modality in community-based settings, thereby linking community health promotion to the healthcare system. Thus, our program could serve as an alternative, non-traditional model of disseminating this intervention for cardiovascular risk reduction among blacks nationwide. The potential for dissemination Is high, as there are over 18-thousand black barbershops and 13-thousand black churches in urban centers across the United States.

Public Health Relevance

This collaborative research project examines whether a culturally and linguistically tailored telephone Intervention will increase adherence to recommended sleep apnea assessment and treatment among blacks recruitedfrom community-based settings in Brooklyn, NY. The long-term goal is to link community health promotion to the healthcare system. Thus, our program could serve as an alternative, non-traditional model for nationwide dissemination of tailored Intervention of cardiovascular risk reduction through OSA treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN)
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Suny Downstate Medical Center
United States
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