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Beneficial Effect of Weight Loss on Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients with Diabetes

Archives of Internal Medicine 2009; The Sleep AHEAD Study Gary D. Foster, PhD; Kelley E. Borradaile, PhD; Mark H. Sanders, MD; Richard Millman, MD; Gary Zammit, PhD; Anne B. Newman, MD; Thomas A. Wadden, PhD; David Kelley, MD; Rena R. Wing, PhD; F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD; David Reboussin, PhD; Samuel T. Kuna, MD; for the Sleep AHEAD Research Group of the Look AHEAD Research Group

Participation in an intensive lifestyle intervention leading to weight loss is associated with improvements in obstructive sleep apnea among patients with diabetes, reports Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied some 260 overweight older patients (mean age, 61) with type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (average apnea-hypopnea index, 23 events per hour) for 1 year. Patients were randomized either to an intensive lifestyle intervention using restricted caloric intake and moderate exercise, or to a series of three group sessions focusing on diet, exercise, and social support.

By year's end, intensive-intervention patients had lost significantly more weight and showed a significant improvement in sleep apnea, compared with controls. In the control group, patients showed a worsening in their sleep apnea, despite maintaining stable weight. The greatest improvements in the apnea-hypopnea index were among patients with the highest initial values and the greatest weight loss.

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