, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 234-239,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Nov 2012

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults with Sleep Apnea


AAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood illness. In some patients, this illness may persist into adulthood and an association between ADHD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been found in childhood. However, it is unclear how OSA and ADHD coincide in adulthood. Therefore, to explore the relationship between OSA and adult ADHD the current investigation utilized a clinically-based cross-sectional survey. Subjects consisted of 81 treatment-naïve OSA patients and 32 controls. Measures included each patient completed a questionnaire regarding sleep, Adult ADHD scale. Clinical information, body mass index, 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and polysomnography.The subjects with Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) ≥ 5 events/h were defined as patients with OSA. The control group was accepted as individuals with AHI > 0 events/h. The prevalence of adult ADHD was not different between the patients with OSA and the control group [(7.4 % (6/75) vs. 6.3 % (2/30), p = 0.8, respectively]. OSA patients with ADHD, as compared with those without, had higher anxiety scores and poorer physical component scores of quality of life and higher ESS scores. ADHD scores in patients with OSA were associated with anxiety and depression scores and SF36 physical and mental component scores in bivariate analyses. Thus, in our sample ADHD was not a frequent illness in adult patients with OSA. However, in patients with OSA and ADHD higher levels of anxiety and daytime sleepiness and poorer quality of life was found.