Treating sleep apnea for improved mental health in children

June 4, 2024

Dr. Tetyana Kendzerska Dr. Tetyana Kendzerska While not much is known about the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and mental health problems in children, researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO have discovered that addressing OSA in children can have positive effects on their mental well-being. 

Led by Drs. Tetyana Kendzerska and Sherri Katz, the team examined healthcare data in Ontario, following children diagnosed with moderate-severe OSA and comparing them to a control group. Children with OSA, a condition where a child's breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, were more likely to have a mental health encounter soon after diagnosis. 

However, the good news is that after treatment for OSA, such as surgery or airway pressure therapy, these children had fewer mental health encounters compared to both the control group and their own pre-treatment visits. The findings were published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 

Authors: Tetyana Kendzerska, Dhenuka Radhakrishnan, Reshma Amin, Indra Narang, Addo Boafo, Rebecca Robillard, Robert Talarico, Henrietta Blinder, Naomi Spitale, Sherri Lynne Katz.