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Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) was traditionally thought to be mainly caused by obesity and upper airway crowding, and hence OSA management was not personalised according to particular characteristics, with most symptomatic patients receiving continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Recent advances in our understanding have identified additional potential and distinct causes of OSA (endotypes), and subgroups of patients (phenotypes) with increased risk of cardiovascular complications. In this review, we discuss the evidence to date as to whether there are distinct clinically useful endotypes and phenotypes of OSA, and the challenges to the field in moving towards delivering personalised therapy in OSA.

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