Obstructive sleep apnea among survivors of combat-related traumatic injury: A retrospective cohort study

Journal of Clinical Sleep MedicineHaynes ZA, Stewart IJ, Poltavskiy EA, et al. | July 19, 2021

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Since obstructive sleep apnea is common among military members despite fewer traditional risk factors, researchers sought to determine the incidence and longitudinal predictors of obstructive sleep apnea in a large population of combat-related traumatic injury survivors and a matched control group. A retrospective cohort study of military personnel deployed to conflict zones between 2002 and 2016, with longitudinal follow-up in the Veterans Affairs and Military Health Systems. For a median of 8.4 years, 17,570 service members were analyzed retrospectively. After adjustment, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and obesity were linked to the development of obstructive sleep apnea. Injured service members had a higher incidence of OSA (29.1 per 1,000 person-years) than uninjured service members (23.9 per 1,000 person-years). This link seems to be driven by traumatic brain injury and the long-term mental health sequelae of injury.

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