Researchers have found that sleep apnea may increase the risk of developing affective mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
A recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery followed 985 participants for an average of nine years. Over the course of the study, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with depression, and nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as those in the control group. Women with sleep apnea were more likely to develop a mood disorder than men.
The researchers concluded that further study of this association “may yield strategies for effective prevention and intervention practices.”