In 1997 we published a systematic review on the health effects of obstructive sleep apnoea and the effectiveness of treatment with CPAP. This generated much controversy and considerable correspondence. About half the letters received by the authors suggested that the paper was just stating the obvious, the other half that the paper was completely inaccurate. To help clarify our findings this paper will discuss the public health impact of sleep apnoea and the rationale behind systematic reviews
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