From the “Is this a Good Use of Research Money?” file:

Golfers who undergo treatment for sleep apnea may improve their golf game as well as their overall health, shows new research. A new study presented at CHEST 2009, the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that golfers with OSA who received nasal positive airway pressure (NPAP) therapy for their disorder improved their daytime sleepiness scores and lowered their golf handicap by as much as three strokes. Researchers suggest that the possibility of improving your golf game may be a significant motivator to improve NPAP compliance rates among golfers.

“More so than many sports, golf has a strong intellectual component, with on-course strategizing, focus, and endurance being integral components to achieving good play,” said Marc L. Benton, MD, FCCP, Atlantic Sleep and Pulmonary Associates, Madison, NJ. “OSAS can lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and cognitive impairment, all side effects that can negatively impact a person’s ability to golf to the best of their ability.”

Okay … these findings may encourage some golfers to be compliant with their therapy, and that’s good.  But this story has attracted major news media attention all over the country.  FAR more important for people to know is that treating sleep apnea saves lives, saves marriages, helps diabetics to better manage their disease, and prevents co-morbidities like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, asthma, depression and erectile dysfunction.  That is what people really need to know about getting treated for sleep apnea.