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Sleep Apnea Linked to Depression

Sleep Apnea Linked to DepressionSleep apnea, a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, has been linked to depression in a new study.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say obstructive sleep apnea and other symptoms of OSA are associated with probable major depression, regardless of factors like weight, age, sex or race.

However, researchers did not determine a link between depression and snoring.

“Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure,” said Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

“We expected persons with sleep-disordered breathing to report trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or feeling tired and having little energy, but not the other symptoms.”

Researchers surveyed 9,714 American adults in the first nationally representative sampling to examine this relationship. Previous studies have focused on smaller samples of specific populations, such as people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), depression or other health conditions.

The findings are found in the April issue of the journal SLEEP.

Wheaton said the likelihood of depression increased with the reported frequency of snorting and/or instances when breathing stopped in the study. She suggested screening for these disorders in the presence of the other could help address the high prevalence and underdiagnosis of sleep apnea and depression, especially if sleepiness is a chief complaint.

Experts report that snorting, gasping and pauses in breathing during sleep are all signs of OSA. Six percent of men and 3 percent of women in the study reported having physician-diagnosed sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Sleep Apnea Linked to Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Sleep Apnea Linked to Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/04/04/sleep-apnea-linked-to-depression/36817.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.