Sleep Apnea? Lose Weight or Die

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Wake up a lot during the night?  Even worse, have you been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

If you have, better get on the scale.  A new study has found that it's critical for people with OSA and other forms of sleep disturbance keep a healthy weight.

According to newswise.com, weight loss is critical to reduce cardiovascular risk factors in those with sleep apnea.

Obesity and OSA tend to co-exist and are associated with a variety of cardiovascular risk factors, including inflammation, insulin resistance, abnormal cholesterol, and high blood pressure. While effective therapies are available for OSA, researchers are still unclear about what interventions are most effective in reducing the burden of risk factors for cardiovascular disease associated with OSA in obese patients.

New research from a multidisciplinary team at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania now reveals that the single most important factor for improving cardiovascular health in obese OSA patients is weight loss.

“In the U.S. almost 1 in 5 adults has sleep apnea, which is associated with an increased risk for a variety of cardiovascular complications. Sleep apnea and obesity are strongly associated,” the Web site quotes lead study author Julio Chirinos, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine at Penn. 

In the study weight loss alone significantly reduced CRP, an inflammatory marker associated with heart disease; insulin resistance; dyslipidemia (abnormal lipid metabolism, common in people with diabetes Type 2), and high blood pressure.

In stark contrast, they did not observe a significant effect of CPAP on CRP, insulin sensitivity or dyslipidemia, even among subjects who adhered to therapy. “These data argue against an independent causal relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and these cardiovascular risk factors in this population and suggest that CPAP is not an effective therapy to reduce the burden of these particular risk factors. These findings also indicate that weight loss therapy should be a central component of strategies to improve the cardiovascular risk factor profile of obese patients with OSA,” said Chirinos. 

So, if you have sleep apnea and want to live till a ripe old age, find the location of your nearest Weight Watchers center.





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