Weight loss and lifestyle change could reduce severity of sleep apnea

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Scientists from the University of Granada found that weight loss and lifestyle intervention are linked to meaningful and sustainable improvements in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity and health-related quality of life.

The research is published in JAMA Network Open and was conducted by Almudena Carneiro-Barrera et al.

OSA is intermittent airflow blockage during sleep. It is seen in all age groups, but the frequency increases with age and obesity.

Symptoms include snoring and daytime sleepiness.

Weight loss, sleeping on one’s side, and decreasing alcohol consumption can help.

The delivery of pressure via a face or nasal mask (CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure) is often prescribed. Other common treatments include an oral device and surgery.

In the study, the team assigned 89 overweight men (aged 18 to 65 years) with moderate-to-severe OSA who were receiving CPAP therapy to an eight-week weight loss and lifestyle intervention plus usual care or usual care alone.

The researchers found that the intervention group had a greater decrease in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) than the control group (change, 2.5 events/hour).

AHI is a scale that tells whether you have a sleep disorder called apnea and, if so, how serious it is.

The reduction in AHI at six months post-intervention was 57 percent in the intervention group, with a mean between-group difference of −23.8 events/hour.

At the endpoint, 18 of 40 participants in the intervention group no longer required CPAP therapy and six achieved complete OSA remission, while at six months, 21 of 34 participants no longer required CPAP therapy and 10 achieved complete remission.

Greater improvements in body weight were seen in the intervention group versus the control group (change, −7.1 kg versus −0.3 kg).

Greater improvements were also seen for change in fat mass (−2.9 kg versus 1.4 kg), cardiometabolic risk, and health-related quality of life.

The team says this approach may therefore be considered an important strategy to address the substantial impact of this increasingly common OSA.

If you care about sleep, please read studies about the noise that could boost your memory function and improve deep sleep, and avoid these 3 things in your dinner to sleep better tonight.

For more information about sleep, please see recent studies about a better way to treat insomnia and sleep apnea, and results showing this sleeping pill can prevent kidney damage in obesity with diabetes.

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