In OSA, depression has been highly prevalent and has in fact reached 39% in clinic studies. A high risk of men depression has been linked to OSA- obstructive sleep apnea as researchers found in a large study done in Australia. The researchers assessed 1875 men who were aged between 35 and 83 years for depression on two occasions, about five years apart. In the past, severe OSA that was undiagnosed was linked to depression as reported in another study.

Even after various adjustments were made for waist circumference, age, relationship status, smoking, erectile dysfunction, noncturia and financial difficulties, the statistical significance tended to remain the safe. In OSA, depression is essentially highly prevalent and clinic studies have shown that it can reach to 39 percent. Few populations that were based on studies have already been done with the results being mixed. In a certain longitudinal study where 1400 men and women were included, an association that is dose dependent was found between depression and a breathing disorder related to sleep. The increase in risk of depression was seen to be 2.6 fold and severe or moderate sleep related breathing disorder.

Cardinal symptoms of OSA

One of the cardinal symptoms of OSA is excessive sleepiness during daytime even though not all patients affected by the problem usually report it. Whether or not daytime sleepiness is in anyway linked to depression in OSA is not clear. The longitudinal study didn’t find sleepiness to quite an explanatory factor for the relationship that was observed between depressions and sleep related breathing disorder. The relationship was further complicated by another study’s finding whereby residual sleepiness was found to persist even more after treatment for positive airway pressure was associated with refractory depression.

To try and clarify the link between depression and OSA, Lang worked with his colleagues in 2010 and conducted telephone interviews whereby they asked men if they have been found to have sleeping apnea in any sleep study. Only those that gave negative responses participated in the study whereby 857 men went a polysomnography testing at home.

Need to assess the risks

The researchers noted that there is dire need for clinicians to know about the various risks and get to assess them in the best way possible in case one of them is present. The actual mechanisms that underlay the association between the conditions are very uncertain even though low levels of oxygen could be involved as well as arterial inflammatory responses together with neurologic changes that happen in the brain. This is truly a very crucial clinical tissue that everyone agreed to. Sleep apnea has been found to cause refractory depression with patients getting more treatment that includes benzodiazepines and this can aggravate the depression much further.