Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea as assessed by polysomnography in psychiatric patients with sleep-related problems

Sleep Breath. 2022 Dec;26(4):1983-1991. doi: 10.1007/s11325-022-02566-6. Epub 2022 Jan 14.


Purpose: Patients with psychiatric disorders often complain of sleep disturbances and are frequently suspected of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, data regarding sleep problems evaluated by attended polysomnography (PSG) remain limited in this population. We analyzed the results of attended PSG from psychiatric patients with sleep-related problems to determine the prevalence and features of sleep disorders among this population.

Methods: We retrospectively investigated the attended PSG results of patients with psychiatric disorders: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, neurodevelopmental disorder, schizophrenia, neurocognitive disorder, anxiety disorder, somatic symptom disorder.

Results: Of 264 patients, 158 men (60%), mean age was 47 ± 19.9 years. More than half of the patients with major depressive disorder (62%), bipolar disorder (70%), schizophrenia (58%), neurocognitive disorders (55%), and somatic symptom disorder (56%) had OSA. Among the psychiatric patients with OSA, 62% of these patients had moderate to severe OSA. The risk factors for OSA were snoring, male, age, and body mass index. The presence of OSA was not associated with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, or benzodiazepine, antipsychotic, or antidepressant use. Other sleep disorders were insomnia (19%), central disorders of hypersomnia (8%), restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movement of sleep (8%), rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (7%), and central sleep apnea syndrome (3%).

Conclusions: PSG revealed that moderate to severe OSA was common in psychiatric patients with or without snoring. Subjective symptoms and psychotropics did not predict OSA. Therefore, PSG is needed to reveal sleep conditions in patients with psychiatric disorders.

Keywords: Attended polysomnography; Obstructive sleep apnea; Psychiatric disorder; Sleep disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder, Major*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders*
  • Snoring / epidemiology