Monday, December 19, 2011

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Psychiatric Patients

Obstructive sleep apnea is becoming more common, especially as obesity rates increase. Some of the medications used to treat psychiatric conditions can contribute to obesity, putting these patients at risk for OSA. There was data presented at the recent American Psychiatric Association where a screening questionnaire was given to patients that were admitted to the hospital for psychiatric illness. The screening tool is called the STOP BANG and can be downloaded from here. Of the 85 patients studied, 46 (54%) were positive on the OSA screening questionnaire and 10 of those (22%) had OSA confirmed. The researchers concluded that these 10 patients would have gone undiagnosed if not for the simple screening process. Since some of the symptoms of OSA overlap certain psychiatric illness (fatigue, sleepiness, insomnia), screening patients could help identify those at risk for OSA and get them the needed treatment.

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