International Journal of Head and Neck Surgery

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Special Issue 4: Invited Article

Impact of Weight Loss on Sleep Apnea

Nancy Sahni

Keywords : Obesity, Obstructive sleep apnea, Weight loss,Bariatric surgery

Citation Information : Sahni N. Impact of Weight Loss on Sleep Apnea. Int J Head Neck Surg 2019; 10 (4):86-91.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10001-1380

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 00-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


The act of sleeping comprises about one-third of our life. It is not just about time, but also the fact that sleeping affects nearly everything that we need to do. Quality of sleep affects quality of life. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a most common sleep-related breathing disorder, and snoring is the most important symptom. A 30–50% of snorers suffer from OSA, which can further lead to its comorbidities such as arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, depression and anxiety disorders, or impotency disorders. Total body weight, body mass index (BMI), and fat distribution all correlate with odds of having OSA. Obesity causes deposition of adipose in and around the throat, which might lead to snoring and manifest into OSA if left untreated. Every 10 kg increase in weight increases risk by two times. An increase in BMI by six increases risk by four times. In obese patients, even minimal weight loss can be beneficial since it is related to preferential loss of visceral fat first as opposed to subcutaneous fat which has metabolic advantages. Therefore, one of the major modifiable risk factors for developing OSA is obesity. Lifestyle changes in the form of dietary modifications, imparting right knowledge about required nutrition for body, and implementation of the same monitored in a way that can manifest into a permanent behavioral change can go a long way in preventing and curing sleep-related breathing disorders and improving the quality of life of the patient as well as the bed partner.

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