Obesity and Depression Linked to Daytime Sleepiness
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Wake up America, and lose some weight! It’s keeping you tired and prone to accidents. Over 100 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorders, an estimated 70 million Americans are considered obese, and close to 20 million Americans suffer from depression. According to research at Penn State, there is a connection between obesity, depression, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Principal investigator for three studies, Alexandros Vgontzas, MD, was quoted as saying, "The 'epidemic' of sleepiness parallels an 'epidemic' of obesity and psychosocial stress.” In the Penn State cohort study, 222 adults reporting excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) were followed a time period of 7 ½ years. For those whose EDS persisted, weight gain was the strongest predicting factor. "In fact, our results showed that in individuals who lost weight, excessive sleepiness improved,” Alexandros Vgontzas, MD, explained.
Adults from that same cohort who developed EDS within the 7½-year span also were studied. The results show for the first time that depression and obesity are the strongest risk factors for new-onset excessive sleepiness. A third study, of a group of 103 research volunteers, determined once again that depression and obesity were the best predictors for EDS.
In the Penn State cohort study, the rate of new-onset excessive sleepiness was 8 percent, and the rate of persistent daytime sleepiness was 38 percent. Like insufficient sleep and obstructive sleep apnea, EDS also is associated with significant health risks and on-the-job accidents; both have been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, obesity and accidents.
"Weight loss, depression and sleep disorders should be our priorities in terms of preventing the medical complications and public safety hazards associated with this excessive sleepiness,” Vgontzas concluded.
SOURCE: SLEEP 2012, the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS)