The NoSAS score: A new and simple screening tool for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in depressive disorder

J Affect Disord. 2018 Feb;227:136-140. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.015. Epub 2017 Oct 5.


Background: Since the clinical presentation of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) shares common features with major depressive (MDE), the screening of OSAS is challenging in this population. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the NoSAS score in predicting the presence of OSAS among participants with current MDE and to compare it with the performance of existing screening tools.

Methods: A random sample of the population-based cohort CoLaus (Lausanne, Switzerland) underwent a psychiatric evaluation (PsyCoLaus) and a complete polysomnography at home (HypnoLaus). The effectiveness of the NoSAS score in detecting the risk of significant OSAS among current MDE participants was assessed and compared with STOP-BANG and Berlin scores.

Results: Among the 1761 subjects (58,75 ± 11y.o.; 47,8%men) who underwent polysomnography, significant OSAS was present in 24.0% with and 26.1% without current MDE. Using a threshold of ≥ 8 points, the NoSAS score identified OSAS in MDE participants with a sensitivity of 0.79, a specificity of 0.66, a negative predictive value of 0.91, and a positive predictive value of 0.41. The area under the ROC curve was 0.72 for NoSAS, 0.66 for STOP-BANG and 0.69 for the Berlin score (NS).

Limitations: Only 44% of the PsyCoLaus participants had a polysomnography. The studied population was mainly of Caucasian ancestry and above 40 years of age.

Conclusions: This is the first study assessing the performance of screening tools for OSAS in MDE. The NoSAS score is a simple and efficient screening tool for OSAS in this population, and may be a helpful instrument for clinicians.

Keywords: Major depressive episode; NoSAS score; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Screening tool.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires