Sleep-disordered breathing and the psychiatric patient

Nancy A. Collop, David N. Neubauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common clinical problem that produces symptoms that overlap with depression. Obesity is the strongest predictor of OSA, although other factors influencing upper airway patency may also predispose individuals to OSA. The key treatment approaches for OSA are nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure, oral devices, and upper airway surgery. Bariatric surgery may also be beneficial. The presence of OSA with comorbid psychiatric disorders may result in clinical challenges related to diagnoses, evaluations, and treatment adherence. Selected psychiatric medications have the potential to exacerbate OSA due to sedating effects and a propensity for weight gain. Antipsychotics and OSA independently may increase the risk for metabolic abnormalities, including glucose intolerance. Patients with OSA should be evaluated for symptoms of psychiatric disorders, just as psychiatric patients with sleep abnormalities and daytime sleepiness should be assessed for symptoms of OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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