According to research in Annals of ATS, the number of Medicare patients with COPD-OSA overlap syndrome increased fourfold in a nine-year span, Pulmonology Advisor reports.

Using Medicare enrollment and claims data from 2004 to 2013, researchers included patients with COPD (N=141,568), 11% of whom had coexisting OSA (n=17,516).

Overlap syndrome diagnoses increased from 4.04% to 17.80% based on visits for OSA, 1.49% to 7.97% based on having a PSG, and 0.99% to 5.01%, based on having a PSG and prescription for a CPAP device.

Patients with overlap syndrome were more likely to be younger, male, have higher numbers of comorbidities, and have more complex COPD than patients with COPD alone.