(ECNS) -- More than one in five Chinese adults suffer from the most common type of sleep apnea and sleep-related illnesses are on the rise, which has become a public health concern, said a report.
The report, jointly released by teams from Peking University and the University of Pennsylvania, said obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway, affects 20.4 percent of Chinese adults, and 26 percent in the United States.
The common symptoms of OSA are snoring, repetitive episodes of shallowing, or paused breathing during sleep, usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen.
OSA is found to affect people's health and work efficiency, according to the report entitled Sleep and Occupational Safety White Paper 2016.
The report also said 80 percent of individuals with OSA have not received a timely diagnosis or treatment due to reasons that include low awareness of the condition, complicated treatments, and a lack of doctors.
The report suggested the use of telemedicine to help grassroots doctors and hospitals in remote areas enhance treatment.
Insomnia, shift work and medical conditions such as narcolepsy can contribute to daytime sleepiness. Individuals with insomnia are three times more likely to become depressed than those with normal sleep routines and also face higher risks of having traffic accidents, added the report.
Researchers called for more attention to be paid to sleep quality, and for sufferers to seek timely medical help.