Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Treat Depression to Lessen Fatigue in Sleep Apnea. (Study of 60 Patients)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Treat Depression to Lessen Fatigue in Sleep Apnea. (Study of 60 Patients)

Article excerpt

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Fatigue, a frequent problem in obstructive sleep apnea, may be influenced more by the degree of concomitant depression than by the severity of the disorder itself, Wayne A. Bardwell, Ph.D., said in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

"Assessment and treatment of mood symptoms may be a key to reducing fatigue in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)," said Dr. Bardwell of the University of California, San Diego.

This disorder, characterized by sleep that is fragmented--with multiple episodes in which the airway collapses, cutting off breathing, and inducing hypoxemia--affects nearly 10% of adults. Fatigue is its "hallmark symptom," but depressive symptoms also are common in OSA patients, he said. And while fatigue also is recognized as a hallmark of depression, associations between OSA, fatigue, and depression, have not been systematically explored.

"We wondered if depressive symptoms might explain OSA fatigue--over and above that resulting from sleep disruption and hypoxemia," Dr. Bardwell said.

He reported a study involving 60 apnea patients whose sleep was monitored for 1 night. All participants completed surveys that included the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale, the Profile of Mood States (POMS), and the Medical Outcomes Study Survey (MOS). …

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