Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Study Finds High Rate of Sleep Apnea Among Veterans with PTSD, Brain Injuries

Sleep disorders—including sleep apnea—are common among American veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a recent study conducted at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Research focused on 317 soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries or both. The study found that nearly half of the soldiers reported insomnia and more than half suffered from sleep apnea.

Researchers followed 135 soldiers with PTSD, 116 veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and 66 soldiers with both conditions. According to the study, the findings of which were reported at the recent annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, 56 percent of the soldiers suffered from obstructive sleep apnea, while 49 percent experienced insomnia.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of the war veterans who participated in the research experienced fragmented nighttime sleep, and 87 percent were hypersomniac, or drowsy during waking hours.

Sleep apnea was more common in soldiers with PTSD than in those who suffered brain injuries. Seventy-eight percent of soldiers with PTSD were diagnosed with sleep apnea.

If sleep apnea treatment is not pursued, the condition can lead to progressive and potentially fatal health problems.

To learn more about sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatment, please contact a dentist near you who specializes in sleep disorder treatment.

posted by Steve at 11:56 AM