11 Apr

Depression linked with sleep breathing problems, study finds- Tampa

Experiencing breathing problems during sleep may raise your risk of  depression, a new study suggests.

Women with sleep  apnea, in which breathing becomes shallow or pauses briefly during sleep,  were 5.2 times as likely to have depression compared with women without the  condition. Men with sleep apnea were 2.4 times as likely to have depression as  men without the condition, according to the study from researchers at the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Participants in the study who had other breathing  problems during sleep also  had an increased risk of depression. However, the researchers found no increased  likelihood of depression among people who snore.

“Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with  nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a  failure,” said study researcher Anne Wheaton, an epidemiologist with the CDC.  “We expected persons with sleep-disordered breathing to report trouble sleeping  or sleeping too much, or feeling tired and having little energy, but not the  other symptoms.”

Both depression and breathing problems during sleep  are common, and both are underdiagnosed, the researchers wrote. Screening people  who have for one disorder for the other could lead to better diagnosis and  treatments, they said.

The researchers took into account other factors that might influence the  results, such as age, sex and weight. The results are in line with those of the  other studies, the researchers said.

The study found an association, not a cause-and-effect link. However, the  researchers wrote that evidence from other research suggests that breathing  problems during sleep may contribute to the development  of depression. For example, one previous study found a link between the  severity of breathing problems during sleep and the odds of later developing  depression. And other studies have shown that people who received treatment for  sleep apnea showed improvement in their depression.

“Mental health professionals often ask about certain sleep problems, such as  unrefreshing sleep and insomnia, but likely do not realize that [breathing  problems during sleep] may have an impact on their patients’ mental health,” the  researchers wrote in their conclusion.

Although exactly how the link might work is unclear, it could partly be  explained by the fact that people with breathing problems experience sleep  that is fragmented, or may have low levels of oxygen in the blood during  sleep.

The researchers used data collected from 9,714 adults who participated in the  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is an ongoing study  conducted by the CDC.

Participants were considered to have depression based on their answers to a  questionnaire asking about how often they experienced symptoms of  depression.

Six percent of men and 3 percent of women in the study reported having  physician-diagnosed sleep apnea.

The study was limited in that participants’ depression and sleep problems  were measured at only one point in time, and in that it relied on self-reported  symptoms. People may not be aware they have breathing problems during sleep, and  there was no information about whether participants were being treated for  depression.

The study is published in the April issue of the journal Sleep.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/30/depression-linked-with-sleep-breathing-problems-study-finds/#ixzz1rjdng6yg

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