Central disorders of hypersomnolence: diagnostic discrepancies between military and civilian sleep centers

Connie L. Thomas*, Shashaank Vattikuti, David Shaha, J. Kent Werner, Shana Hansen, Jacob Collen, Vincent F. Capaldi, Scott Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: The majority of active-duty service members obtain insufficient sleep, which can influence diagnostic evaluations for sleep disorders, including disorders of hypersomnolence. An incorrect diagnosis of hypersomnia may be career ending for military service or lead to inappropriate medical care. This study was conducted to assess the rates at which narcolepsy (Nc) and idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) are diagnosed by military vs civilian sleep disorders centers. Methods: This retrospective study utilized claims data from the Military Health System Data Repository. The analyses compared diagnostic rates of military personnel by provider type—either civilian provider or military provider—from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2019. Three diagnostic categories for Nc and IH: Nc or IH, Nc only, and IH only, were assessed with multivariate logistic regression models. Results: We found that among service members evaluated for a sleep disorder, the odds ratios of a positive diagnosis at a civilian facility vs a military facility for Nc or IH was 2.1, for Nc only was 2.1, and IH only was 2.0 over the 4-year period. Conclusions: Civilian sleep specialists were twice as likely to diagnose central disorders of hypersomnolence compared to military specialists. Raising awareness about this discrepancy is critical given the occupational and patient care-related implications of misdiagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2433-2441
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • circadian rhythm disorders
  • idiopathic hypersomnia
  • insufficient sleep syndrome
  • multiple sleep latency test
  • narcolepsy
  • obstructive sleep apnea


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