Sleep apnea and major depression linked

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A new study reveals that symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are associated with major depression. This is true regardless of weight, age, sex or race. However, there was no link between depression and snoring.

As Anne G. Wheaton, PhD, lead author of the study, sumarizes:

Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure. 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.”

This study, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first to study this relationship. They surveyed almost ten thousand American adults to gather data – the largest sampling of this population for a study of this kind.

Wheaton writes that the likelihood of depression increased with the reported frequency of snorting and/or instances when breathing stopped in the study. Screening for these disorders when the other is present could help address the high prevalence and underdiagnosis of sleep apnea and depression. This could be helpful especially if sleepiness is a primary complaint.

OSA apparent by the snorting, gasping and long pauses in breathing during sleep that people suffer. It is a common form of sleep-disordered breathing with six percent of men and three percent of women experiencing it. OSA happens when muscles relax during sleep causing soft tissue in the throat to collapse and block the airway.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, SLEEP

 
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