Excess Weight's Role in Sleep-Disordered Breathing Studied

Body mass index may predict oxygen desaturation severity in apneas and hypopneas
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Excess body weight may serve as a potentially important predictor of oxygen desaturation severity during sleep disturbances caused by apneas or hypopneas, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Paul E. Peppard, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues assessed body mass index (BMI) in 750 adult participants in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study and observed 37,473 breathing events during polysomnography studies. Forty percent of the subjects were obese and accounted for 62 percent of breathing events.

The researchers found that BMI was independently associated with oxygen desaturation severity. They also found that BMI predicted increased desaturation during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep compared to non-REM sleep, and that each increment of 10 kg/m2 BMI was associated with a 1 percent greater mean blood oxygen desaturation during REM sleep in subjects experiencing hypopnea events.

"For the first time, we have comprehensively quantified the additional burden that excess body weight has on the severity of individual breathing events. These findings contribute to a fuller understanding of the impact of excess body weight on sleep-disordered breathing," the authors conclude.

Two authors reported receiving funding for clinical trials from pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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