COPD doubles the risk of insomnia symptoms including nocturnal awakenings
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.
Current estimates suggest about 12 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but as many as two in three people with known risk factors for COPD and are unaware they have the disease.
COPD is a major cause of disability. It is estimated that between 50% and 75% of COPD patients report sleep problems although there is no dedicated study on the subject.
Dr. Maurice Ohayon, MD, PhD, DSc, Professor (Research), Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Sleep Center and Director, Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center in Palo Alto, California, using survey data of 8,764 non-institutionalized participants found that COPD was linked to an increased risk of insomnia symptoms and hospitalizations.
Dr. Ohayon looked at the sleeping habits, life habits, health, DSM-IV mental disorders, DSM-IV and ICSD sleep disorders in relation to COPD.
COPD was defined as chronic bronchitis or emphysema (treated or not) diagnosed by a physician.
Among the survey respondents, 2.5% reported being diagnosed with COPD. As many as 48.1% of COPD had insomnia symptoms, which was twice higher than the rate observed in non-COPD.
Those who reported a COPD diagnosis had greater than twofold odds of co-presenting with insomnia symptoms versus those without COPD.
The most common insomnia symptoms in COPD in comparison those without COPD were nocturnal awakenings (37.6% versus 22%) followed with global sleep dissatisfaction (30.3% versus 8.8%).
After adjusting for confounding factors ( age, sex, weight) breathing pauses during sleep and snoring were not significantly associated with COPD.
Only 11.8% of COPD addressed their sleep difficulties to their physician.
The co-occurrence of mental disorders with insomnia symptoms increased by four times the likelihood of hospitalizations in the previous year among COPD.
Insomnia and psychiatric disorders were linked with a diminished quality of life in COPD.
Dr. Ohayon writes in his conclusion “COPD is a debilitating disease accompanied with sleep disturbances in the overwhelming majority of cases. The high comorbidity of psychiatric disorders and insomnia is associated with greater health care utilization and great deterioration of the quality of life.”
Dr. Ohayon reported his findings in a poster session during the SLEEP meeting.
This study appears in the abstract supplement SLEEP 0795.