WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is more common among men, as well as those with psychological distress, mental illness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in Neurology.

Chun Yao, from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues analyzed data from 30,097 participants (aged 45 to 85 years) in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The authors sought to identify sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and clinical factors associated with idiopathic RBD. Participants were excluded from analysis if they had apnea, non-REM parasomnia (young-onset possible RBD [pRBD]), dementia, or Parkinson disease.

The researchers found that 3.2 percent of the study participants had pRBD, which was associated with male sex (odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.78 to 2.44) and lower education (OR, 0.95; 95 percent CI, 0.92 to 0.98). Additionally, participants with pRBD smoked more (OR, 1.01; 95 percent CI, 1.00 to 1.01) and were more likely to be moderate-to-heavy drinkers (OR, 1.25; 95 percent CI, 1.04 to 1.51). The associations between pRBD and self-reported antidepressant treatment for depression (OR, 2.77; 95 percent CI, 2.23 to 3.45), psychological distress (OR, 1.61; 95 percent CI, 1.44 to 1.80), mental illness (OR, 2.09; 95 percent CI, 1.75 to 2.49), and posttraumatic stress disorder (OR, 2.68; 95 percent CI, 1.97 to 3.65) were all strong.

“Identifying lifestyle and personal risk factors linked to this sleep disorder may lead to finding ways to reduce the chances of developing it,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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