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Volume 14 No. 09
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Detailed Polysomnography in Australian Vietnam Veterans With and Without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Timothy Baird, BSc, MBBS, DTMH, FRACP1,2; Rebecca Theal, BSc(Hons)3; Sarah Gleeson, MBBS, FRACP1,2; Sarah McLeay, BSc(Hons), PhD3,4; Robyn O'Sullivan, MBBS, FRACP1,2; Sarah McLeay, BSc(Hons), PhD1; Wendy Harvey, BSc(Hons), MBBS, MPH1; Madeline Romaniuk, GradDipPsych, BBehSc(Hons), DPsych(Clinical)1,2; Darrell Crawford, MBBS, FRACP, MD1,3,4; David Colquhoun, MBBS, FRACP1,3,4; Ross McD Young, PhD1,5; Miriam Dwyer, BSc, HDipEd1; John Gibson, MBBS, FRANZCP1,4; Robyn O'Sullivan, MBBS, FRACP1,3,4; Graham Cooksley, MBBS, MD, FRACP1,3; Christopher Strakosch, MD, FRACP1,3,4; Rachel Thomson, MBBS, GradDipClinEpi, PhD, FRACP1,3,4; Joanne Voisey, BSc(Hons), PhD1,2; Bruce Lawford, MBBS, FRANZCP, FAChAM (RACP)1,2,3,4
1Sleep Care, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 3Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 4The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 1Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate St, Greenslopes; 2School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD; 3School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland; 4Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate St, Greenslopes, Queensland; 5Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD

Study Objectives:

Recent results from the PTSD Initiative, a cross-sectional cohort study in Australian Vietnam veterans (VV) with and without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), demonstrated an increased prevalence of self-reported sleep disturbances in those with PTSD. This study aimed to objectively assess the prevalence of sleep disorders in the same cohort using detailed polysomnography (PSG).


Participants from the PTSD Initiative were recruited to undergo PSG. PTSD status was determined with the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5). Subjective sleep information was attained via structured questionnaires. Data from single night PSG were compared between trauma-exposed VV with and without PTSD.


A total of 74 trauma-exposed male VV (40 with PTSD) underwent PSG (prospective n = 59, retrospective n = 15). All PSG parameters were similar between groups. No difference was seen in PSG-diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). VV with PTSD showed a trend toward increased duration of sleep with oxygen saturations < 90% (10% versus 1.8%; P = .07). VV with PTSD reported increased sleep onset latency (42.4 versus 13.3 minutes; P < .01); were less likely to report sleeping well (32.5% versus 67.5%; P < .01); had higher OSA risk using Berlin Questionnaire (BQ) (70% versus 38.2%; P < .01); and had higher rates of partner-reported limb movements (56.4% versus 17.6%; P < .01). No association between PSG-diagnosed OSA and PTSD severity was evident.


In Australian VV with and without PTSD, no difference was seen across all PSG parameters including the diagnosis and severity of OSA and PLMS. However, VV with PTSD demonstrated an increased perception of sleep disturbances.


Baird T, Theal R, Gleeson S, McLeay S, O'Sullivan R; PTSD Initiative. Detailed polysomnography in Australian Vietnam veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(9):1577–1586.

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