Background: OSA is a common disorder with significant neuropsychiatric morbidity. Studies have shown a
20% prevalence of depression in OSA patients. Prevalence of anxiety disorders in OSA has not been well characterized.
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in a cohort of
patients with OSA, and evaluate the influence of gender and ethnicity.
Methodology: A retrospective study was carried out on consecutive patients referred for polysomnography at our tertiary
care county hospital sleep center. Patients were administered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in
addition to routine sleep questionnaires. Scores of >10 were considered positive for both anxiety, and for depression
respectively. Patients over age 18 years and AHI > 5 on the sleep study were included in the analysis.
Results: 51 patients meeting the inclusion criteria filled out a valid questionnaire. The prevalence of both anxiety, as well
as depression, was very high (52.9 % and 39.2% respectively). There was a significantly higher prevalence of anxiety in
females as compared to males. (62.5% vs 36.8% respectively; p < 0.05). African-American patients had higher rates of
anxiety than Caucasians (66.7% vs 30.7%; p < 0.05). No gender or ethnic variance was seen in prevalence of depression.
Conclusions: Anxiety, as well as depression, are extremely prevalent in patients with OSA, and are significantly
underappreciated. Our data suggest that both gender and ethnicity may influence the prevalence of anxiety in OSA.