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Sleep disorders in veterans with serious mental illnesses: prevalence in Veterans Affairs health record data.
Bonfils KA, Longenecker JM, Soreca I, Hammer LA, Tighe CA, Haas GL, Bramoweth AD. Sleep disorders in veterans with serious mental illnesses: prevalence in Veterans Affairs health record data. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 2023 Sep 1; 19(9):1651-1660.
This study aimed to estimate the 12-month prevalence of diagnosed sleep disorders among veterans with and without serious mental illnesses (SMI) in Veterans Affairs health record data in 2019. We also examined diagnosed sleep disorders across a 9-year period and explored associations with demographic and health factors.
This study used health record data from VISN 4 of the Veterans Health Administration from 2011 to 2019. SMI diagnoses included schizophrenia and bipolar spectrum diagnoses as well as major depression with psychosis. Sleep diagnoses included insomnias, hypersomnias, sleep-related breathing disorders, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, and sleep-related movement disorders. Demographic and health-related factors were also collected from the record.
In 2019, 21.8% of veterans with SMI were diagnosed with a sleep disorder. This is a significantly higher proportion than for veterans without SMI, 15.1% of whom were diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Sleep disorder rates were highest in veterans with a chart diagnosis of major depression with psychosis. From 2011 to 2019, the overall prevalence of sleep disorders in veterans with SMI more than doubled (10.2%-21.8%), suggesting improvements in the detection and diagnosis of sleep concerns for this group.
Our findings suggest that identification and diagnosis of sleep disorders for veterans with SMI has improved over the past decade, though diagnoses still likely underrepresent actual prevalence of clinically relevant sleep concerns. Sleep concerns may be at particularly high risk of going untreated in veterans with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.
Bonfils KA, Longenecker JM, Soreca I, et al. Sleep disorders in veterans with serious mental illnesses: prevalence in Veterans Affairs health record data. . 2023;19(9):1651-1660.