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Cessation of airflow at the nostrils and mouth lasting at least 10 seconds. There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive apnea is secondary to upper airway obstruction; central apnea is associated with a cessation of all respiratory movements; mixed apnea has both central and obstructive components.

Definition reprinted with permission from Culebras, Antonio, Clinical Handbook of Sleep Disorders, Butterworth-Heinemann