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Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Fri 04/22/2011 - 08:46

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by recurrent episodes of upper airway collapse and obstruction during sleep. These episodes of obstruction are associated with recurrent oxyhemoglobin desaturations and arousals from sleep. OSA associated with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is commonly called obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS).

Despite being a common disease, most primary care physicians in the United States under-recognize OSAHS; an estimated 80% of Americans with OSAHS are not diagnosed. Although its prevalence may vary in different populations and age groups, it has been estimated that OSA affects 24% and 9% of middle-aged men and women respectively.

The male-to-female ration in community-based studies is 2-3:1. Three large epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the prevalence of OSA in women appears to increase after menopause. Premenopausal women with OSA tend to be more obese than men with the same severity of disease. Thin women with symptoms of OSA appear to have an increased frequency of craniofacial abnormalities.

OSA is associated with systemic hypertension, pulmonary hypertension and core pulmonale. Obesity is probably the most important risk factor for OSA. Sever studies have shown an association between increased body mass index (BMI) and the risk of OSA. Significant OSA is present in 40% of obese individuals and 70% of OSA patients are obese. A mere 10% increase in body mass has been shown to increase an individual’s risk of developing OSA by 500%. Conversely, weight loss in OSA patients leads to a significant decrease in apnea frequency.

Call New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions today for a free consultation at 855.WHY.SNORE or 855.949-7667. New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions serves snoring sufferers throughout New Jersey in West Orange, Livingston, Millburn and Short Hills, NJ.