Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common
childhood illness with a prevalence between 3% and 16%. It is
characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, impairment in academic,
social, and occupational functioning, short attention span, and onset
of symptoms before age 7 years. In some patients, this illness can
persist into adulthood. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common
disorder affecting 3% of the population and is characterized by
hypersomnolence, snoring, disturbed sleep, and cognitive dysfunction.
Some studies have suggested an association between OSA and ADHD in
children. Because of the overlap of symptoms, patients with OSA may be
considered to have ADHD. Significant improvement in symptoms has
been reported with the use of continuous positive airway pressure in
patients with OSA. We present reports of three adults who were being
treated for ADHD and were found to have OSA.