Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome screening in mood disorder patients

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Previous studies have reported that the incidence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in patients with depression is higher than in the general population. We examined the risk factors to predict OSAS in mood disorder patients with depressive symptoms.


We conducted polysomnography for patients who satisfied the following criteria: (i) diagnosis of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder according to the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI); (ii) a score of ≥10 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D); (iii) fulfillment of either (a) or (b) below: (a) at least one of the following: severe snoring, witnessed apnea during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness; (b) at least one of the following plus an oxygen desaturation index of 4% ≥5 times/h by pulse oximeter: mild snoring, sleep disturbance, headache, high blood pressure. The patients with apnea hypopnea index ≥5 were diagnosed with OSAS.


Of the 32 mood disorder patients who met the subject conditions, 59.4% had OSAS. The diagnosis rate with our criteria was significantly higher than the previously reported incidence of OSAS in patients with depression. There was no significant difference among diagnosis rates as to individual risk factors or the number of risk factors. A multiple regression test showed no significant association between apnea-hypopnea index and other clinical factors including depression severity.


The present results showed that OSAS can be detected at a remarkably higher rate by considering appropriate OSAS risk factors in mood disorder patients, and suggested that there is a high rate of undetected and therefore untreated OSAS among mood disorder patients.

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