Obstructive sleep apnea and depression: A review

Shakir M. Ejaz, Imran S. Khawaja, Subhash Bhatia, Thomas D. Hurwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder associated with several medical conditions, increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, and overall healthcare expenditure. There is higher prevalence of depression in people with obstructive sleep apnea in both clinical and community samples. Many symptoms of depression and obstructive sleep apnea overlap causing under-diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in depressed patients. Sleep problems, including obstructive sleep apnea, are rarely assessed on a regular basis in patients with depressive disorders, but they may be responsible for antidepressant treatment failure. The mechanism of the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and depression is complex and remains unclear. Though some studies suggest a mutual relationship, the relationship remains unclear. Several possible pathophysiological mechanisms could explain how obstructive sleep apnea can cause or worsen depression. Increased knowledge of the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and depression might significantly improve diagnostic accuracy as well as treatment outcomes for both obstructive sleep apnea and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalInnovations in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • CPAP
  • Continuous positive airway pressure
  • Depression
  • OSA
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Obstructive sleep apnea and depression: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this