[Note: Hypopnea, also termed ‘underbreathing’ is a disorder involving episodes of abnormally shallow breathing or low respiratory rate that causes a drop in oxygen level. During sleep it is a sleep disorder that may compromise sleep quality or disturb sleep. Sleep apnea involves pauses in breathing, either because of airway obstruction or the brain’s failure to signal muscles to breathe.]
Objectives were to:
1. To explore whether sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (SAHS) should be considered a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) comorbidity, rather than a diagnostic exclusion criterion; and
2. To compare sleep/wake/psychopathology in individuals with CFS, controls and another illness.
Participants (CFS, SAHS, controls) completed questionnaires and were evaluated for sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome; 68% were subsequently diagnosed with SAHS.
CFS participants with and without SAHS did not differ. Both clinical groups were less well adjusted than controls.
We conclude that:
• SAHS should not be an exclusion criterion for CFS, and
• Psychological problems in CFS seem a consequence of coping with illness.
Source: Journal of Health Psychology, Nov 2009;14(8):1251-1267. PMID: 19858344, by Libman E, Creti L, Baltzan M, Rizzo D, Fichten CS, Bailes S. SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Concordia University; McGill University, Montreal, Canada. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]