New guideline recommends weight loss strategies for sleep apnea patients

Providing evidence-based recommendations for the management of overweight/obesity in patients with OSA.


An international panel assembled by the American Thoracic Society has released new guideline focused on the role of weight management in treating adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The guideline exhibits that weight loss gives an unmistakable advantage to OSA patients and grows the substance of past clinical practice rules by offering particular suggestions for weight reduction and talking about the proof for every proposal.

The guideline panel reviewed scores of studies and rated the strength of study findings, along with the certainty of the panel’s recommendations, using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system.

The panel also noted that weight loss, either through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery, has benefits beyond reducing OSA severity. Among those benefits is the prevention of type 2 diabetes, improved glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and improved quality of life.

In planning its suggestions, the board looked into contemplates that discovered patients are frequently unaware that they are overweight or obese and that clinicians are regularly hesitant to talk about the requirement for weight loss or give patients an analysis of obesity. Notwithstanding when the requirement for weight reduction is examined, the panel stated, an effective weight loss program is regularly not started.

According to Dr. Henri Tuomilehto of the University of Eastern Finland, the guideline is a welcome step in increasing awareness and offering practical tools for the treatment of sleep apnea patients. His research group at the University of Eastern Finland was the first in the world to show the benefits of weight loss to overweight sleep apnea patients in a randomized lifestyle intervention in 2009.

The guidelines are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


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