Veterans’ High Rates of Sleep Apnea Linked to PTSD

Studies of young U.S. veterans show that the probability of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) grew with the increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. OSA is often seen in older Veterans whose long-term PTSD or other service-connected disabilities caused increased weight gain, a common cause and/or aggravating factor of OSA.

Younger veterans with PTSD are rarely screened for sleep apnea and frequently remain undiagnosed; in addition, the mechanism underlying the relationship between sleep apnea and PTSD in military veterans is not always black-and-white.  However, common factors that may connect the two disorders include disturbed sleep in combat, prolonged sleep deprivation, sleep fragmentation and hyperarousal due to the physical and psychological stressors of combat, the chronic stress from PTSD, or the sleep disturbances caused by OSA.

If your claim for sleep apnea service-connection has been denied,  call (504) 235 4075 to speak to an attorney today.