MONDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have even minimal sleep-related breathing disorder have at least a 1.6-fold increase in the risk of depression, according to a study in the Sept. 18 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Paul E. Peppard, Ph.D., and colleagues of the University of Wisconsin-Madison assessed 1,408 adults for sleep-related breathing using polysomnography (the apnea-hypopnea index) and depression using the Zung depression scale. Participants were evaluated every four years and collectively completed 3,202 sleep studies.
Compared with patients without sleep-related breathing problems, the risk of depression increased as the frequency of apnea episodes increased. The odds of depression increased 1.6-fold in those with minimal sleep-related breathing disorder (apnea-hypopnea index between 0 and 5) to 2.6-fold in those with moderate or worse sleep-related breathing (apnea-hypopnea index of 15 or more).
"Our longitudinal findings of a dose-response association between sleep-related breathing disorder and depression provide evidence consistent with a causal link between these conditions and should heighten clinical suspicion of depression in patients with sleep-related breathing disorder," Peppard and colleagues conclude.
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