Sleep apnea

A compilation of articles about weight loss and sleep apnea

Weight Loss Cures Sleep Apnea In Obese People: A Scientific Study

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, a Swedish university that is among the leading medical universities in Europe, recently reported the results of their study on weight loss as a treatment for sleep apnea. The findings, published in the December 2009 issue of British Medical Journal, indicate that weight loss may indeed be a cure for sleep apnea. According to researcher Kari Johansson, “Our findings suggest that weight loss may be an effective treatment strategy for sleep apnea in obese men.”

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Sleep Apnea And Obesity: A Life Threatening Combination

The NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute estimates that 12 million adult Americans are experiencing sleep apnea, many of them without even being aware that they suffer from this life-threatening illness.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Difficult to Correct in Obese Children

A new research study has raised serious concern about the special risks obese children face when they undergo surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.

In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the upper part of a person’s airway becomes partly or completed blocked for 10 to 30 seconds intermittently and repeatedly while they are asleep. When OSA occurs in children, it can usually be traced to blockage caused by the adenoids and tonsils.

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Can Weight Loss Cure Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea poses a serious health risk to millions of people in the United States—estimates range from 12 million to 20 million—many of whom don’t even know they have it.

The disruptive snoring which often first alerts sufferers (or their partners) may be the most obvious and irritating symptom, but the potential consequences of this severe sleep disturbance are far more dangerous and debilitating. People with sleep apnea are at increased risk for high blood pressure and stroke, have a 30% higher risk of heart attack or premature death, and can suffer significant memory loss, high blood pressure, and seizures. Their daily quality of life is also degraded by several sleep deprivation.

Because patients who report sleep apnea are often overweight, doctors have generally assumed that the conditions are linked and that these patients should concentrate above all on losing weight. But actual research to support and quantify that treatment recommendation has been scarce. According to Gary Foster of the Temple University Center for Obesity Research and Education, “There are very few studies that show whether the recommended amount of weight loss—about 10 percent—is enough to sufficiently improve sleep apnea.”

Being Overweight Increases the Risk of Sleep Apnea

A study, published on October 15, 2009 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, stated that being overweight increased an individual’s chances of oxygen desaturation in the blood.Oxygen desaturation, also known as hypoxia, is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or a region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.

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