Even Moderate Weight Loss Can Prevent and Cure Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

weight loss fruitWeight reduction has been proven to prevent the onset and progression of obstructive sleep apnoea. Research now shows that even moderate weight loss will prevent the progression of OSA and even cure the condition. Obstructive sleep apnoea has become a major problem for health care providers and systems in recent years. OSA has in fact become one of the most prevalent non communicable diseases. The majority of sleep apnoea patients are undiagnosed.

OSA has been shown to be linked to metabolic abnormalities especially cardiovascular morbidities and Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity is a very big risk factor for OSA. Numerous studies that have examined the progression of obstructive sleep apnoea have found that weight gain is a very high risk for the progression of the condition to the more severe forms. The worsening of the condition with weight gain is best seen in OSA patients who already have partial obstruction of the upper airway. Additionally, OSA has been associated with the increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

A four year follow up study undertaken in Finland focused on the effects of weight loss on OSA. The study is perhaps important owing to the fact that there have not been many studies which seek to identify the effects of weight reduction on OSA. In fact, there has been no single study that has focused on the prevention of the progression of OSA. The need to find more reliable scientific evidence which can be used to roll out nationwide campaigns and programs and design interventions within the clinical setting informed the objectives of the study.

The study was undertaken at the Kuopio University Hospital in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland in the period between 2004 and 2013. For purposes of the study, participants selected were moderately obese adults who suffered from mild OSA. The study subjects were put into two groups. One group was put through a 12 month supervised lifestyle program while the second group was placed under standard care which consisted of general written and verbal information about diet and physical activity.

The results of the study were consistent with the hypothesis of the study which was that moderate and sustained weight reduction brought about an improvement in OSA. The findings of the study were that sustained weight loss of just about 5% was adequate enough to prevent the progression and worsening of OSA and was even enough to cure the condition on the long term with follow up. This is only possible in the early stages of the OSA.

The study thus provides long term evidence that modest weigh reduction can result in marked improvement of both OSA and metabolism in overweight patients. The resultant positive changes are sustained even four years after stopping the active intervention hence the progression of the disease is prevented.


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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.