Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Obesity can cause obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repetitive collapse of tea upper airway during sleep resulting in complete (apnea) or partial (hypopnea) restriction of airflow.

Obstructive sleep apnea severity is typically quantified using the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) which measures the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep. Obesity is very common in the obstructive sleep apnea population. Although being overweight is not necessary for obstructive sleep apnea, truncal obesity predisposes patients to sleep apnea. In patients with a small airway diameter at baseline, even a modest weight gain can cause obstructive sleep apnea.
Mechanisms by which obesity may cause obstructive sleep apnea:
*Reduction of upper airway caliber due to fat deposition
*Alteration of upper airway compliance (increase in collapsibility) due to changes in muscle tone
*Decrease in lung residual volume

Obstructive sleep apnea patients have severe daytime somnolence, frequent nocturnal awakening, loud snoring and morning headaches. Severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome can be associated with prolonged sinus arrest, premature ventricular contractions and sudden death.
Obesity can cause obstructive sleep apnea
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