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Obstructive sleep apnea, posttraumatic stress disorder, and health in immigrants
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7173-4333
2012 (English)In: Psychosomatic Medicine, ISSN 0033-3174, E-ISSN 1534-7796, Vol. 74, no 8, 824-831 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether obstructive sleep apnea mediates the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosomatic and somatic disorders and its implications for self-rated health (SRH) among Iraqi immigrants in the United States.

METHODS: A random sample of immigrants who had left Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War (n = 145) or after (n = 205) and are residing in metropolitan Detroit responded to a structured interview covering questions on sociodemographics, premigration trauma, SRH, physician-diagnosed and -treated obstructive sleep apnea, somatic disorders, and psychosomatic disorders. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the relationship between premigration trauma scores and health, as well as to explore mediating pathways between PTSD, obstructive sleep apnea, and health.

RESULTS: The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among post-Gulf Warimmigrants (30.2%) was significantly higher than among pre-Gulf War immigrants (0.7%; p < .001). Premigration trauma scores were positively associated with depression and PTSD. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which obstructive sleep apnea mediated the relationship between PTSD and psychosomatic and somatic disorders. Premigration trauma also related directly to SRH.

CONCLUSIONS: Part of the PTSD-associated adverse health effects observed in Iraqi immigrants is mediated by obstructive sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea in the current study is based on medical history and current treatment, there is a need for future confirmatory polysomnographic studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 74, no 8, 824-831 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221579DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31826bf1ecISI: 000310047800005PubMedID: 23023679OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-221579DiVA: diva2:709542
NIH (National Institute of Health), R01MH085793 1R34MH086943-01
Available from: 2014-04-02 Created: 2014-04-02 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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