Obstructive sleep apnea may occur throughout the lifespan, with peak occurrences in early childhood and during middle and older age. Onset in childhood is overwhelmingly due to adeno-tonsillar hypertrophy, while in adulthood, contributors include risk factors, such as obesity, male sex, and aging. More recently, there has been a precipitous increase in the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in youth. Drivers of this phenomenon include both increasing obesity and the survival of children with complex medical conditions into adulthood. Appropriate treatment and long-term management of obstructive sleep apnea is critical to ensure that these youth maintain well-being unfettered by secondary comorbidities. To this end, patient engagement and seamless transition of care from pediatric to adult health care systems is of paramount importance. To date, this is an unacknowledged and unmet need in most sleep programs. This article highlights the need for guideline-driven sleep disorder transition processes and illustrates the authors’ experience with the development of a program for sleep apnea.
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