When you hear obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you’re likely to associate it with snoring. Perhaps you will also associate it with other health concerns.1 However, many people are not aware that OSA is also linked to an increased risk of depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, it is common for people with OSA to develop symptoms of depression, and the severity of their symptoms is directly correlated with the severity of their OSA.2
But there's good news for those suffering with depression as a side effect of OSA. After 3 months of CPAP therapy, depressive symptoms improve noticeably.2
Recent studies published in The Lancet Regional Health, The New England Journal of Medicine and the EClinicalMedicine have shown that CPAP treatment can reduce symptoms of depression in patients with both OSA and cardiovascular disease.3,4,5
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with OSA, remember that it can cause other side effects to come with it, including depressive symptoms. Adherence to CPAP therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.
To assess your risk, take Philips Sleep Apnea quiz. Once you’ve received your results, discuss them and the possible risk factors for depression and/or sleep apnea with your doctor, and see how sleep apnea treatment could help your mental health.
1 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Sleep Apnea. Online. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea Last accessed: Nov 20, 2020
2 Edwards, Cass et al. “Depressive Symptoms before and after Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Men and Women.” Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine vol. 11,9 1029-38. 15 Sep. 2015, doi:10.5664/jcsm.5020
3 Zheng D, Xu Y, You S, Hackett ML, Woodman RJ, Li Q, Woodward M, Loffler KA, Rodgers A, Drager LF, Lorenzi-Filho G, Wang X, Quan WW, Tripathi M, Mediano O, Ou Q, Chen R, Liu Z, Zhang X, Luo Y, McArdle N, Mukherjee S, McEvoy RD, Anderson CS. Effects of continuous positive airway pressure on depression and anxiety symptoms in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea: results from the sleep apnoea cardiovascular Endpoint randomised trial and meta-analysis.
EClinicalMedicine. 2019 Jun 13;11:89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.05.012. PMID: 31312807; PMCID: PMC6610775.
4 McEvoy RD, Antic NA, Heeley E, Luo Y, Ou Q, Zhang X, Mediano O, Chen R, Drager LF, Liu Z, Chen G, Du B, McArdle N, Mukherjee S, Tripathi M, Billot L, Li Q, Lorenzi-Filho G, Barbe F, Redline S, Wang J, Arima H, Neal B, White DP, Grunstein RR, Zhong N, Anderson CS; SAVE Investigators and Coordinators. CPAP for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. N Engl J Med. 2016 Sep 8;375(10):919-31. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1606599. Epub 2016 Aug 28. PMID: 27571048.
5 Marrone O. Mood After CPAP: Fewer Patients With Depression, but not Fewer With Anxiety. EClinicalMedicine. 2019 Jun 21;11:9-10. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.06.008. PMID: 31312803; PMCID: PMC6610768.