Schizophrenia, Obesity, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(1):8-11
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: This study evaluated the risk
factors for obstructive sleep apnea in psychiatric patients.
Method: The subjects were 364 patients referred
to a sleep disorders consultation service from an inpatient
psychiatric hospital. Seventy-eight percent underwent
polysomnographic testing. Rates of obstructive sleep apnea in
different diagnostic groups (established by clinical DSM-III-R
diagnosis) were retrospectively assessed.
Results: Logistic regression demonstrated
significant independent effects of age (p = .046), gender (p =
.002), body mass index (p < .001), and chronic neuroleptic use
(p = .012) on the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (defined as
more than 20 instances of apnea and/or hypopnea per hour of
sleep). Patients with schizophrenia were significantly heavier
and had higher rates of sleep apnea than did other psychiatric
Conclusion: Obesity, male gender, and chronic
neuroleptic administration are risk factors for obstructive sleep
apnea in psychiatric patients. Since patients with schizophrenia
are often on long-term neuroleptic treatment, they may have high
rates of obstructive sleep apnea, mediated via the weight gain
produced by such medications. Overweight psychiatric patients and
those on chronic neuroleptic treatment (e.g., patients with
schizophrenia) should be evaluated for sleep apnea if signs and
symptoms of this disorder are present.