Weight loss in mildly to moderately obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea

P. L. Smith, A. R. Gold, D. A. Meyers, E. F. Haponik, E. R. Bleecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

370 Scopus citations


The therapeutic effects of weight loss were evaluated in 15 hypersomnolent patients with moderately severe obstructive sleep apnea. As patients decreased their body weight from 106.2 ± 7.3 kg (mean ± SE) to 96.6 ± 5.9 kg, apnea frequency fell from 55.0 ± 7.5 to 29.2 ± 7.1 episodes/h (p < 0.01) in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep with an associated significant decline in the mean oxyhemoglobin saturation during the remaining episodes of sleep apnea from 11.9 ± 2.4% to 7.9 ± 1.9% (p < 0.02). Sleep patterns also improved, with a reduction in stage I sleep from 40.2 ± 7.3% to 23.5 ± 4.8% (p < 0.01), and a rise in stage II sleep from 37.3 ± 7.0% to 49.4 ± 4.6% (p < 0.03). In the 9 patients with the most marked fall in apnea frequency, the tendency toward daytime hypersomnolence was decreased (p < 0.05). No significant changes in sleep patterns occurred in 8 age- and weight-matched control patients who did not lose weight. Moderate weight loss alone can alleviate sleep apnea, improve sleep architecture, and decrease daytime hypersomnolence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-855
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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