Comparison of Psychiatric Symptoms in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Simple Snoring, and Normal Controls

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Abstract

Objective

Patients with sleep-related breathing disorders are known to have more severe psychiatric symptoms than good sleepers. The aim of this study was to compare the psychiatric symptoms of participants with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), those with simple snoring (SS), and normal controls (NC).

Methods

A total of 386 participants (260 with OSA, 75 with SS, and 51 NC) completed self-report questionnaires including the Symptoms Checklist 90-Revised and underwent nocturnal polysomnography. The scores of nine primary symptom dimensions and three global distress indices of the Symptoms Checklist 90-Revised were compared among the three groups, adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index.

Results

Participants with suspected OSA (OSA + SS) reported more severe psychiatric symptoms than the NC group. Compared with the participants with OSA, those with SS manifested more severe obsessive-compulsive (1.4 (1.0) versus 1.1 (0.7), p = .008) and depressive (1.2 (1.2) versus 0.8 (0.8), p = .031) symptoms and higher Global Severity Index (1.0 (0.9) versus 0.7 (0.6), p = .039) and Positive Symptom Distress Index (2.0 (0.8) versus 1.7 (0.6), p = .009). Only higher Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index values predicted higher Global Severity Index (B = 0.11, p = .041) and Positive Symptom Distress Index (B = 0.46, p = .007) in suspected OSA participants.

Conclusions

This study found that individuals with suspected OSA experienced more severe psychiatric symptoms than NCs and that psychiatric symptoms were more severe in the SS group than in the OSA group. The psychiatric symptoms of suspected OSA patients were associated with subjective sleep quality rather than with the apnea-hypopnea index.

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