Overweight People Suffer More Severe Sleep Apnea

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Overweight People Suffer More Severe Sleep Apnea

OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) causes more serious health issues in people who are overweight compared to those with a normal weight, according to new research.  A study published in the October 15 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine finds that more severe oxygen depletion occurred in the blood of obese people suffering from OSA, after and during apnea events.


Sleep apnea presents as hundreds of small arrests in breathing throughout the night.  The gaps in breathing occur from between 10 and 120 seconds each time and cause the sleeper to experience a droop in oxygen levels and little rest throughout a night time sleeping session, resulting in extreme daytime sleepiness; poor concentration; general poor health as a result of constant tiredness.


Oxygen level reduction seems to be greater in people who have a weight problem, leading to more problematic conditions.  Sleep apnea is connected to a number of serious diseases such as stroke, cardio vascular diseases and Diabetes.  It is also responsible for causing traffic accidents as drivers are exhausted and fall asleep behind the wheel.


Lead researcher Paul E. Peppard, PhD, assistant professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, built on existing research showing that obese people had more frequent sleep apnea episodes over a night time sleep period: “In this study, we wanted to go a step further and measure how much the excess weight contributes to the severity of individual breathing events,” he said.  Research environment was carefully accounted for, such as age; weight and gender of each participant to ensure that the severity of oxygen saturation reduction was properly assessed for each person. 


It was noted that not only obese people were at risk: anyone with a body mass index of 25 experienced a greater risk of sleep apnea and the higher the BMI, the greater the risk: the higher the weight, the more likely a person will suffer from sleep apnea and its associated problems. 


Being overweight and sleep apnea are linked.  Weight is certainly a risk factor to developing OSA and the higher the weight the more likely it is that the sleep apnea will be severe.  Doctors must be made aware that obesity and sleep apnea are connected.  Therefore patients are likely to be at a greater risk of serious disease if they are also overweight, even if they have the same number of sleep apnea incidences throughout the night.


The effects of sleep apnea on patients may be significantly reduced by the introduction of a personalized weight control program.

The Aviisha Medical Wellness Institute in Los Angeles is recognised as a pioneer in
sleep apnea diagnosis
and treatment. Patients are tested for sleep apnea either in the comfort of their own home or in the Aviisha Los Angeles sleep labs. Aviisha provides the most advanced and thorough treatment for sleep apnea and provides patients with discounted rates for auto CPAPs and other sleep aids.

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