Sleep Apnea Patients Experience Higher Depression Levels
Patients who experience a range of ear, nose, and throat-related health problems exhibited a greater prevalence of depression than is observed in the general population, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, IL.
In any given one-year period, approximately 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness. The new study, which analyzed the health of 12,516 distinct otolaryngology patients, found that 30 percent of these patients either had been diagnosed with depressive illness or took antidepressants.
The study further broke down different otolaryngologic diagnoses to determine which conditions had the highest co-morbidity with depression.
Researchers found that patients diagnosed with sleep apnea had the highest levels of depression and use of antidepressant medications (21 percent and 46 percent).
Findings from this study could help clinicians diagnose and treat co-morbid depressive and otolaryngolic symptoms in patients.