Dr Sarah Appleton

Research Fellow (Respiratory and Sleep Medicine)

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre Building (2A24)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Sarah’s research has aimed to identify clinical phenotypes of people at risk of poor health outcomes in order to inform evidenced based policy for the improved delivery of health services and prevention of chronic disease. Since 2012, she has made contributions to -identifying the burden of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in men and its relationship with chronic disease outcomes life in the Men Androgens Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress (MAILES) study as the most productive epidemiologist investigating the co-morbidities of OSA in Australia. Given the size of the population at risk of OSA related health problems that her work has identified, current research projects aim to better identify who actually is at risk and require treatment. This will involve the investigation of whether electrophysiological signals (EEG and ECG) on sleep studies (power spectral analysis, heart rate variability) improves risk stratification. Her partners include collaborators at The University of Adelaide based at SAHMRI, and the Woolcock Institute at Sydney University. Her major goal will be the acquisition of research funds to investigate women participants of the NWAHS as to date women are far less likely to be diagnosed with OSA than men and are vastly under-represented in OSA research studies despite recent findings suggesting a quarter of women may be affected by OSA.


PhD, University of Adelaide, 2010

Bachelor of Science (Honours), Flinders University, 1988

Bachelor of Science, University of Adelaide, 1987

Key responsibilities

As a Senior Reserach Fellow, she is broadly engaged in research activities across a number of ongoing epidemiological studies. These include:

1) Managing all aspects of the follow-up of the MAILES study including biomedical assessment and repeat home based sleep studies funded by the NH&MRC of Australia and The Hospital Research Foundation.

2) The 20 year follow-up of the North West Adelaide Health Study.

3) Undertaking primary analyses of the Sleep Health Foundation 2019 insomnia survey.

4) Post-graduate student co-supervision responsibilities.