Sleep and Biological Rhythms

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 455–458 | Cite as

Cross-sectional examination of gender differences in depression and anxiety symptoms in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

  • Melinda L. JacksonEmail author
  • Sanjeevan Muruganandan
  • Thomas Churchward
  • Julie Tolson
  • Christopher Worsnop
Short Paper


This study examined the prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in OSA patients, and predictors of mood disturbance in male and female patients. N = 344 consecutive OSA patients (mean age 51.6 SD 14.1 years, 176 women) completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. 42.3% of females reported significant depressive symptoms compared to 32.7% of males, and 29.7% of females compared to 21.4% of males reported significant anxiety. In women, sleepiness, anxiety, and BMI were significant predictors of depression, whereas only sleepiness and anxiety were significant predictors of depression in males. Obesity was a stronger predictor of depression among women, suggesting a complex interaction between weight, sleep, and depression in female patients.


Depression Anxiety Obstructive sleep apnea Daytime sleepiness Gender Obesity 



Apnea–hypopnea index


Epworth Sleepiness Scale


Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale


Obstructive sleep apnea





The authors would like to thank the Sleep Laboratory staff for their assistance with data collection. MLJ was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia Fellowship (APP1036292).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Sleep Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Psychology, School of Health and Biomedical SciencesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Breathing and SleepAustin HealthHeidelbergAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Respiratory MedicineNorthern HealthEppingAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Respiratory and Sleep MedicineAustin HealthHeidelbergAustralia

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