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White-collared, globe-trotting executives over the age of 45 need to watch out for sleep apnoea, according to a recent study by the Madras ENT Research Foundation.

“Our estimates show that 24 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women above 45 years in the country suffer from this problem,” says Mohan Kameswaran, Managing Director of the foundation.

Those with obesity, diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to sleep apnoea. Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and heavy snoring are other risk factors associated with this disorder. It is common among middle-aged working professionals.

“With intense travelling, they have very little time for physical activity and exercise. They do not maintain a good diet. When you are young, your muscle tone is good. But it slows down after 45,” cautions Kameswaran.

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Patients seen at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center who used positive airway pressure (PAP) to treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) had improvements in their depressive symptoms, even if they followed the prescribed PAP regimen only partly, a new study reports.

The study looked at 779 patients with OSA and asked them to fill out a standardized PHQ-9 form to assess depressive symptoms, which patients with OSA often have, researchers said. They were assessed again with the PHQ-9 following PAP treatment, and all showed improvement in PHQ-9 scores; however, patients using their PAP devices more than four hours per night had greater score improvements than those who were less adherent. Other factors that affected the improvements in PHQ-9 scores were whether the patient was sleepy and marital status.

“The score improvements remained significant even after taking into account whether a patient had a prior diagnosis of depression or was taking an anti-depressant,” said Charles Bae, MD, principal investigator in the study. “The improvements were greatest in sleepy, adherent patients but even non-adherent patients had better PHQ-9 scores. Another interesting finding was that among patients treated with PAP, married patients had a greater decrease in PHQ-9 scores compared to single or divorced patients.”

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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This study, conducted by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and published in the journal Sleep, analyzed nearly 10,000 American adults. Researchers found that the likelihood of depression in study participants increased along with the self-reported rate of gasping and stopping breathing while sleeping. The study concluded:

“Frequent snorting/stopping breathing was associated with probable major depression by the PHQ-9 in a national sample of adults. Additional research may be needed to determine whether regular screening for these conditions by mental health professionals and sleep specialists should be recommended.”

About 6 percent of men and 3 percent of women enrolled in the study reported having been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Otherwise, participants had not been diagnosed with the disorder, but described symptoms of gasping, snorting, restlessness while sleeping and daytime fatigue.

“Mental health professionals often ask patients with depression about their sleeping habits, and there is a known link between depression and insomnia, but less about depression and this specific sleep disorder,” said study leader Anne Wheaton.

“While there have been small studies with smaller study populations that have examined the link in the past, this is the first study to look at the link between sleep apnea and depression in the general population”, said Wheaton. Cells need oxygen to “perform whatever tasks there are for the brain to perform and if they’re not getting enough, a person’s physical and mental health seems to suffer.”



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I found a very useful article entitled “The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia & Sleep Apnea, and How to Live With Both” by Adrienne Dellwo on Guide.

Here is an extract:

Fibromyalgia and abnormal sleep breathing commonly go together. Sleep apnea is considered a possible cause or contributing factor for FMS, and FMS may increase your risk of sleep apnea.

Any sleep disorder can make FMS symptoms worse, so treating sleep disorders is often a big help in managing FMS. Sleep apnea is one of the more serious sleep disorders because it can lead to life-threatening conditions.
What is Sleep Apnea?

So far, we don’t know why fibromyalgia and sleep apnea go together. It’s possible that apnea-caused sleep deprivation contributes to the development of FMS. It’s also possible that lax connective tissues associated with FMS may make airway obstructions more likely.

Some symptoms of fibromyalgia and sleep apnea are similar, which can make it harder for you to detect and for your doctor to diagnose. Shared symptoms include:

* Unrefreshing sleep & excessive daytime sleepiness
* Difficulty concentrating
* Personality changes
* Depression
* Insomnia

Sleep apnea symptoms that aren’t associated with FMS include:

* Episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep
* Loud snoring
* Dry mouth upon waking
* Snorting, gasping or choking that wakes you up
* High blood pressure

If you have FMS and notice these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of sleep apnea.

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