Prevalence of Respiratory Disorders during Sleep among Subjects of Methadone Maintenance Therapy Program

Document Type : Original Article


1 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Respiratory disorders during sleep are considered a health problem affecting the life quality. There is some evidence indicating the higher prevalence of apnea in substance-dependent patients. However, there is no information on the prevalence of the disease in people under methadone maintenance therapy (MMT). Therefore, the present study was designed to estimate the disease rate in these patients and consider the relationship of the increasing risk of apnea with some psychiatric problems.
Methods: Study group included 152 individuals under the MMT program. Baseline data were collected with the interview, and patients were considered using the STOP-BANG questionnaire to evaluate the risk of apnea. Furthermore, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) tests were performed for all participants. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.
Findings: Based on the STOP-BANG score categories, 37.5%, 40.1%, and 22.4% of patients indicated low, intermediate, and high risk of apnea, respectively. Moreover, severe daytime sleepiness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety were observed in 5.3%, 5.5%, 6.0%, and 21.1% of participants, respectively. Sex (P = 0.007) and daytime sleepiness (P = 0.048) were significantly different between low and high-risk groups of apnea after adjustment. Besides, age (P < 0.001) and fatigue (P = 0.007) were factors predicting the STOP-BANG score.
Conclusion: These findings revealed the higher prevalence of apnea in MMT patients compared to the general population of Iran and rising of the risk of apnea along with an increase in age and fatigue score. However, attention to the sleep disorders in MMT is a prominent factor that should be considered as a route of therapy.