Public Release: 

Patients with PTSD together with sleep apnea may have reduced quality of life

Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with worsened symptoms, more sleepiness, and less adherence and response to treatment

American College of Chest Physicians

February 8, 2016 (Glenview, Ill.)-- New research finds patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experienced lower quality of life, more sleepiness, and less adherence and response to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy.

A case-controlled study conducted at the Sleep Disorders Center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, TX, performed sleep studies on 200 military medical patients with PTSD and found that over half were diagnosed with OSA. These patients were compared with 50 matched patients with OSA but not PTSD and with another 50 patients without PTSD or OSA controls.

This study showed that compared with the other groups, patients with both PTSD and OSA had worse quality of life measurements, more sleepiness, and less adherence and response to treatment.

The results point out that patients with PTSD are also at high risk of having OSA and should be evaluated accordingly. Patients with both PTSD and OSA should also be followed especially closely for adherence and response to PAP treatment.

The complete study, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Clinical Outcomes and Impact of PAP Therapy is available for download in the February issue of CHEST.


American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 18,700 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST, visit

Contact: Taylor Pecko-Reid,

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