Simplifying the screening of obstructive sleep apnea with a 2-item model, no-apnea: A cross-sectional study

Ricardo L.M. Duarte, Marcelo F. Rabahi, Flavio J. Magalhães-da-Silveira, Tiago S. De Oliveira-e-Sá, Fernanda C.Q. Mello, David Gozal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: To develop and validate a practical model for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening in adults based on objectively assessed criteria, and then compare it with two widely used tools, namely STOP-BANG and NoSAS. Methods: This is a retrospective study of an existing database of consecutive outpatients who were referred for polysomnography for suspected sleep-disordered breathing by their primary care physicians. Area under the curve (AUC) and 2 × 2 contingency tables were employed to obtain the performance of the new instrument. Results: A total of 4,072 subjects were randomly allocated into two independent cohorts: one for derivation (n = 2,037) and one for validation (n = 2,035). A mnemonic model, named No-Apnea, with two variables (neck circumference and age) was developed (total score: 0–9 points). We used the cutoff ≥ 3 to classify patients at high risk of having OSA. OSA severity was categorized by apnea-hypopnea index (AHI): any OSA (AHI 5 ≥ events/h; OSA-5), moderate/ severe OSA (AHI 15 ≥ events/h; OSA-15); and severe OSA (AHI 30 ≥ events/h; OSA-30). In the derivation cohort, the AUCs for screening of OSA-5, OSA-15, and OSA-30 were: 0.784, 0.758, and 0.754; respectively. The rate of subjects correctly screened was 78.1%, 68.8%, and 54.4%, respectively for OSA-5, OSA-15, and OSA-30. Subsequently, the model was validated confirming its reproducibility. In both cohorts, No-Apnea discrimination was similar to STOP-BANG or NoSAS. Conclusions: The No-Apnea, a 2-item model, appears to be a useful and practical tool for OSA screening, mainly when limited resources constrain referral evaluation. Despite its simplicity when compared to previously validated tools (STOP-BANG and NoSAS), the instrument exhibits similar performance characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1107
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018


  • Clinical assessment
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Polysomnography
  • Scoring


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