Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


The association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is well-established in children. However, there is a paucity of literature regarding this association in adults. The aim of this study was to determine if ADHD is more common in adult patients with OSA. All patients referred to a sleep center for sleep evaluation were administered the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale and diagnostic polysomnogram. The ADHD screen is considered positive if 4 of 6 questions in part A of the screening questionnaire were answered abnormally. The study population consisted of 194 participants, predominantly male (62%), Caucasian (54%), and Hispanic (44%). OSA was identified in 160 (83%) of participants, with 116 (60%) having moderate to severe OSA. The ADHD screen was positive in 37 (19%) of participants. There was no significant association between the severity of OSA and presence of ADHD symptoms. Patients with OSA who screened positive for ADHD had higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores than those that did not. These data suggest that ADHD is more prevalent in patients with OSA, but do not demonstrate a relationship between OSA severity and ADHD symptoms. Interestingly, sleepiness is more prominent in patients with ADHD.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.