Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationship between a low libido and objective sleep parameters as well as mood disturbances in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA).
Methods: We enrolled 436 untreated patients who were newly diagnosed with OSA (all male, mean age 42.8 years). Patients completed the Symptom checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Patients were divided into low-libido and normal-libido groups according to their response to the statement "Loss of sexual interest or pleasure" on the SCL-90-R.
Results: Approximately 23% of patients reported a low libido. Patients with a low libido were older (47.5 ± 9.0 vs. 41.4 ± 11.1 years; p < 0.001), had more nocturia (33.3% vs. 16.6%; p < 0.001), higher BDI (9.0 (5.0-14.0) vs. 5.0 (2.0-9.0); p < 0.001) and BAI score (11.0 (6.3-16.8) vs. 5.0 (2.0-10.0); p < 0.001). These patients had a lower non-REM sleep stage 3 (N3) % (0.1 (0-4.0) vs. 2.3 (0.1-7.9); p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that older age and higher BDI score were independent factors associated with a low libido.
Conclusions: Men with untreated OSA suffered from a low libido. Older age and depressed mood were the most important factors of low libido in middle-aged men with OSA.
Keywords: Libido; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnography; Sleep quality.
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