Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bariatric Surgery Helps Prevent Sleep Apnea in Morbidly Obese

According to a new Sleep Review article, patients who were denied bariatric surgery for insurance reasons developed numerous obesity-related diseases and conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), within 3 years of follow-up. This research was presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

This Wisconsin-based study compared the medical records of 587 patients who had laparoscopic gastric bypass (LGB) with 189 patients who were medically eligible, but denied bariatric surgery by their insurance provider between 2001 and 2007.

At the time of initial medical evaluation, patients in both groups had an average body mass index (BMI) of about 48. The article notes that people who are considered eligible for this surgery are morbidly obese and have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with an obesity-related disease, such as OSA, Type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.

The researchers tracked the development of five obesity-related conditions in patients who received treatment verses those who were denied treatment.

After 3 years, the average BMI in the surgical group had dropped to 30.5 and less than one percent of patients developed new obesity-related conditions. In contrast, a large number of patients in the denial group grew unhealthier.

Though BMIs remained stable in the denial group, 34 percent developed OSA. More than 40 percent developed hypertension. Nearly 20 percent developed gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Type 2 diabetes developed in nine percent. And lipid disorders developed in 11 percent.

“It is well known that bariatric surgery treats obesity-related diseases; our study now shows that it can prevent new diseases from occurring,” said Lead Author Dr. Shanu N. Kothari.

Previous studies have shown the benefits of bariatric surgery. A 2004 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that bariatric surgery eliminated OSA in 85 percent of patients.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that people with sleep apnea combine weight loss with oral appliance therapy or CPAP.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.