AASM study finds high risk of sleep apnea in young veterans with PTSD

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According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a study of young U.S. veterans shows that the probability of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increased with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

The study involved 195 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who visited a VA outpatient PTSD clinic for evaluation. Results show that 69.2% of participants had a high risk for sleep apnea, and this risk increased with PTSD symptom severity. 93% of study participants were men, and their mean age was 33 years. Every clinically significant increase in PTSD symptom severity was associated with a 40% increase in the probability of screening as high risk for sleep apnea.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disease afflicting at least 25 million adults in the U.S. Sleep apnea warning signs include snoring and choking, gasping, or silent breathing pauses during sleep.

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To get help for PTSD, veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, contact a local VA Medical Center, or use the online PTSD program locator on the VA website.