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Weight Loss in Mildly to Moderately Obese Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

PHILIP L. SMITH, M.D.; AVRAM R. GOLD, M.D.; DEBORAH A. MEYERS, Ph.D.; EDWARD F. HAPONIK, M.D.; and EUGENE R. BLEECKER, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by Teaching Nursing Home Grant #P01AG04402-01AG from the National Institute on Aging.

This article was presented in part at the American Thoracic Society Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, in May 1984.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Philip L. Smith, M.D.; Francis Scott Key Medical Center, a Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, 4940 Eastern Avenue; Baltimore, MD 21224.


©1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(6_Part_1):850-855. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-6-850
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The therapeutic effects of weight loss were evaluated in 15 hypersomnolent patients with moderately severe obstructive sleep apnea. As patients decreased their body weight from 106.2 ± 7.3 kg (mean ± SE) to 96.6 ± 5.9 kg, apnea frequency fell from 55.0 ± 7.5 to 29.2 ± 7.1 episodes/h (p < 0.01) in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep with an associated significant decline in the mean oxyhemoglobin saturation during the remaining episodes of sleep apnea from 11.9 ± 2.4% to 7.9 ± 1.9% (p < 0.02). Sleep patterns also improved, with a reduction in stage I sleep from 40.2 ± 7.3% to 23.5 ± 4.8% (p < 0.01), and a rise in stage II sleep from 37.3 ± 7.0% to 49.4 ± 4.6% (p < 0.03). In the 9 patients with the most marked fall in apnea frequency, the tendency toward daytime hypersomnolence was decreased (p < 0.05). No significant changes in sleep patterns occurred in 8 age- and weight-matched control patients who did not lose weight. Moderate weight loss alone can alleviate sleep apnea, improve sleep architecture, and decrease daytime hypersomnolence.

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