Combo of sleep apnea and insomnia linked to depression in men

146545_2953261_updates

Men with both obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are much more likely to have depression symptoms compared to men with either sleep disorder alone, suggests a recent Australian study.

The depression symptoms also seem to be worse for men who have both apnea and insomnia compared to men with depression but without this combination of sleep problems, the authors report in the journal Respirology.

“Obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are the two most common sleep disorders and can occur together in the same individual,” lead author Dr. Carol Lang, a researcher at the Basil Hetzel Institute at the University of Adelaide Queen Elizabeth Hospital Campus, told Reuters Health.

“We know that each of these disorders is individually associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes in patients. However, we don’t know very much about if, or how, the two disorders interact with each other and the health outcomes when they coexist in the same individual,” Lang said in an email.

A person with obstructive sleep apnea has their breathing interrupted multiple times during sleep by narrowed or blocked airways. The condition is often treated by wearing a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, mask to keep the airway open.

Insomnia was defined in this study as the inability to fall or stay asleep together with feeling fatigued during the day.

Lang and her colleagues enrolled 700 mostly middle-aged men in Adelaide with no diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. All of them underwent at-home sleep monitoring known as polysomnography and answered questions about their sleep habits, health conditions and possible depression symptoms.

Researchers found that more than half of the men had undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. In the entire group, 323 men had sleep apnea only, 37 had insomnia only and 47 had both conditions.

Of the men with both sleep apnea and insomnia, 43 percent also had depression, compared with 22 percent of the men who had insomnia alone and 8 percent of the men who had sleep apnea alone.

Sleep deprivation, which may occur in chronic insomnia, is known to adversely affect muscles involved in breathing and may contribute to the propensity and severity of sleep apnea, Lang noted.

“There are also many biochemical signaling pathways in the body through which sleep apnea, insomnia, and depression may interact with each other,” she said.

If one of the sleep disorders is suspected, primary care providers should consider the possibility of co-existing sleep apnea and insomnia as well as their patient’s mental health, said Lang.

“Since some hypnotic medications could potentially be counter-productive, patients should be referred to sleep clinics, and if necessary mental health clinics, for further investigation so that the most appropriate treatment strategy can be implemented for them as an individual,” she said.

Our sleep is important for our physical and mental health, Lang added, and a person who experiences sleep problems should talk to a medical practitioner to see if further investigation is necessary.

Advertisements

90 chickenpox cases reported in Multan so far: health dept

Multan: A total of 90 cases of chickenpox have been reported this year in Multan so far.

Spokesperson Health department, Multan, Dr Atta-ur-Rehman informed on Wednesday that as many as seven cases have been reported in the city in the last 24 hours. A total of 23 cases have emerged in the last three days, he pointed out.

One of the chickenpox patients, who hailed from Dera Ghazi Khan, also passed away, said Dr Atta-ur-Rehman.

To help the patients, the health department has dedicated an entire ward to chickenpox patients at Nishtar Hospital, he added.

Chickenpox is a viral infection which leads to the formation of small fluid-filled blisters over the body. People who have not been vaccinated and have not had chickenpox are likely to contract this disease at least once in their lives. ​​

The viral’s outbreak in different parts of Punjab has become an increasing threat for the people.

Worldwide, more than 10 percent of young teens are smokers

SMOKERS

Roughly 11 percent of youth aged 13 to 15 around the world use tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars, a global survey of students suggests.

Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death and serious illness, killing an estimated 6 million people each year, researchers note in the youth tobacco report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most smokers take up the habit in their teens.

For the current study, researchers examined data from surveys of teens in 61 countries conducted from 2012 to 2015. Half of nations had a smoking rate of at least 15 percent for boys and at least 8 percent for girls, they found.

“Smoking has been shown to harm nearly every organ of the body, and science shows that most adult smokers first start smoking during adolescence,” said lead study author Rene Arrazola of the Office on Smoking and Health at the CDC.

“Young people who begin to smoke at an earlier age are more likely than those who start at older ages to develop long-term nicotine addiction,” Arrazola said by email. “Therefore, efforts to prevent youth tobacco use are critical to prevent another generation of adults who smoke and suffer from smoking-related death and disease.”

Across all of the countries in the study, the lowest prevalence of teen smoking (1.7 percent) was seen in Sri Lanka. The highest prevalence (35 percent) was in Timor-Leste.

For boys, the lowest smoking prevalence was 2.9 percent in Tajikistan and the highest was 61.4 percent in Timor-Leste. For girls, the lowest rate – 1.6 percent – was seen in Tajikistan and the highest – 29 percent – in Bulgaria.

In the majority of countries, at least half of current tobacco smokers said they wanted to quit, the study also found. The proportion of student smokers who said they desired to quit ranged from a low of 32 percent in Uruguay to a high of 90 percent in the Philippines.

Limitations of the study include the reliance on teens to accurately recall and report on their smoking behaviour, the authors note. It also only included students enrolled in school, which might not fully represent smoking behaviour in these countries.

“I was surprised to see that most of the countries were in the 10 to 20 percent range; I would have thought the numbers would be higher, but they either are similar or slightly higher than rates in the U.S. which are around 10 to 15 percent,” said Dr. Maher Karam-Hage, associate medical director of the tobacco treatment program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

A variety of policies at the country level can influence whether young teens will smoke, Karam-Hage, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“Cultural values and norms in their individual countries are most critical, followed by the economic factors (prices and taxes), age restrictions and policies such as whether they have clean indoor air (laws) or not,” Karam-Hage said.