Sleep Apnea and Depression

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Snorting, gasping or short interruptions in breathing during sleep may be linked to depression symptoms. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study on sleep apnea and depression in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The more frequently people snort, gasp or stop breathing for short periods of time while asleep, the more likely they are to have symptoms of depression.

Snoring, however, was not linked to depression symptoms in a study of nearly 10,000 adults, which appeared in the journal Sleep.

Sleep-disordered breathingthe snorts, gasps and short pauses in breathing that characterize obstructive sleep apneahas been linked with depression in previous research.

The study found:

Six percent of men and 3 percent of women said a doctor had diagnosed them with obstructive sleep apnea.

Seven percent of men and 4 percent of women said they snorted/stopped breathing at least five nights a week.

Men and women who said they snorted/stopped breathing at least five nights per week were three times more likely to show signs of major depression.

Possible explanations for the link between sleep-disordered breathing and depression include diminished oxygen to the brain and interrupted sleep, researchers said.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.