Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects almost a billion people worldwide and is associated with a myriad of adverse health outcomes. Among the most prevalent and morbid are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Nonetheless, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of OSA treatment have failed to show improvements in CVD outcomes. A major limitation in our field is the lack of precision in defining OSA and specifically subgroups with the potential to benefit from therapy. Further, this has called into question the validity of using the time-honored apnea–hypopnea index as the ultimate defining criteria for OSA. Recent applications of advanced statistical methods and machine learning have brought to light a variety of OSA endotypes and phenotypes. These methods also provide an opportunity to understand the interaction between OSA and comorbid diseases for better CVD risk stratification. Lastly, machine learning and specifically heterogeneous treatment effects modeling can help uncover subgroups with differential outcomes after treatment initiation. In an era of data sharing and big data, these techniques will be at the forefront of OSA research. Advanced data science methods, such as machine-learning analyses and artificial intelligence, will improve our ability to determine the unique influence of OSA on CVD outcomes and ultimately allow us to better determine precision medicine approaches in OSA patients for CVD risk reduction. In this narrative review, we will highlight how team science via machine learning and artificial intelligence applied to existing clinical data, polysomnography, proteomics, and imaging can do just that.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1415
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • artificial intelligence
  • cardiovascular disease
  • ethics in machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • heterogeneity of treatment effects
  • machine learning
  • obstructive sleep apnea


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