DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Washington DC 20420
DOCKET NO. 11-01922 MAR 2 8 2016
On September 2012 VA examination, the diagnosis was obstructive sleep apnea.
The examiner reported that he found no valid medical literature to support the claim that sleep apnea is proximately due to or the result of PTSD. Therefore, the examiner opined that it was less likely as not the Veteran’s sleep apnea was caused by or a result of his PTSD. A June 2014 letter from Dr. D. Anaise included an opinion that the Veteran’s sleep apnea was more likely than not secondary to his service-connected PTSD. The letter cited medical literature as evidence in support of the opinion, and included such medical literature in support of the Veteran’s claim. Such evidence was also in support of a causal relationship between sleep apnea and PTSD. After a review of the evidence of record, resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran’s favor, the Board finds that the preponderance of the evidence supports that the Veteran’s obstructive sleep apnea is secondary to his service-connected PTSD. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.310. The Board notes that the September 2012 VA opinion against the Veteran’s claim cited the lack of medical literature in support of a causal relationship between PTSD and sleep apnea as a basis for concluding the Veteran’s sleep apnea was less likely as not caused by or a result of his PTSD. In contrast, the June 2014 letter from Dr. D. Anaise indicated there was a significant volume of medical literature to support the Veteran’s claim, and cited to such evidence in support of his opinion that the Veteran’s obstructive sleep apnea was more likely than not secondary to his service-connected PTSD.
The Board finds the June 2014 letter and opinion from Dr. D. Anaise to be more probative and persuasive in this case as it was based on a review of the Veteran’s treatment records, cited supporting medical literature, and was provided by a medical expert competent to provide an opinion as to the etiology of the Veteran’s sleep apnea. Hence, entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea as secondary to service-connected PTSD is warranted