Research finds patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experienced lower quality of life, more sleepiness, and less adherence and response to PAP therapy.

A case-controlled study conducted at the Sleep Disorders Center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, performed sleep studies on 200 military medical patients with PTSD and found that over half were diagnosed with OSA. These patients were compared with 50 matched patients with OSA but not PTSD and with another 50 patients without PTSD or OSA controls.

This study showed that compared with the other groups, patients with both PTSD and OSA had worse quality of life measurements, more sleepiness, and less adherence and response to treatment.

The results point out that patients with PTSD are also at high risk of having OSA and should be evaluated accordingly. Patients with both PTSD and OSA should also be followed especially closely for adherence and response to PAP treatment.

The complete study, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Clinical Outcomes and Impact of PAP Therapy, is available for download in the February issue of CHEST.