My sleep certified physician once let me in on his little secret: he can diagnose Sleep Apnea in a person while sitting across a crowded room from that person in a restaurant. Now, he qualified this by saying that he'd only be able to do so with 85% accuracy, but still... it came as quite a shock to me. Especially when he told me how he'd do it. It wasn't by looking at their waistline or gut. It certainly wasn't from hearing them snore. No, he'd do it just by looking at their jaw. If it were narrow enough, he'd be fairly certain they had sleep apnea. No polysomnography or home test involved. The narrower the jaw structure, he reasoned, the more crowded the airway, and the more likely breathing problems while asleep would occur.
Which dispels one of the myths about Sleep Apnea: that it's a disorder for overweight, middle-aged men. I myself am not overweight (I am 6 feet tall and weigh 179 pounds); and I'm not middle-aged (I just turned 35), but I have Sleep Apnea. My friends who have Sleep Apnea don't fit the mold either. They're my age, and pretty fit.
I think Sleep Apnea is under-diagnosed in people who don't fit the mold. Doctors are all too human, and it's a rare general physician who is on the lookout for Sleep Apnea to begin with. Even when they are educated about Sleep Apnea, they're looking for the "usual suspects" -- overweight, middle-aged men. As the medical profession becomes more educated and aware of Sleep Apnea, this will change. When doctors start approaching fit young women with narrow jaws at restaurants, we'll know the day has come.