Obesity and sleep apnoea
Obesity and sleep apnoea

Obesity and sleep apnoea

How are obesity and sleep apnoea connected? Research suggests that sleep apnoea:

  • Is highly prevalent in morbidly obese patients and is associated with increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias.1
  • Has been found to affect as many as 91% of bariatric surgery candidates.2
  • Increases the occurrence of major post-operative complications in bariatric surgery patients3 and increases hospital costs in this patient group.4
  • Must be considered as part of perioperative care for bariatric surgery.5
  • Air pressure treatment required may fluctuate post-operatively because bariatric patients undergo dramatic physical changes (e.g., weight loss). Automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) devices should be considered as a treatment choice during this time.6
  • Is improved by weight loss. Surgery does not necessarily eliminate sleep apnoea in obese patients, necessitating long-term follow-up and monitoring.7
  • Can reappear with post-operative weight gain in bariatric patients.8
  • Development and severity may be increased by weight gain.9


  1. Valencia-Flores M, Orea A, Castano VA, Resendiz M, Rosales M, Rebollar V, Santiago V, Gallegos J, Campos RM, Gonzalez J, Oseguera J, Garcia-Ramos G, Bliwise DL.Prevalence of sleep apnea and electrocardiographic disturbances in morbidly obese patients. Obesity Research 2000;8(3):262-9.
  2. Kaw, R., et al., Meta-analysis of the association between obstructive sleep apnoea and postoperative outcome. Br J Anaesth, 2012. 109(6): p. 897-906.
  3. Perugini RA, Mason R, Czerniach DR, Novitsky YW, Baker S, Litwin DE, Kelly JJ. Predictors of complication and suboptimal weight loss after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a series of 188 patients. Archives of Surgery 2003;138(5):541-5; discussion 545-6.
  4. Cooney RN, Haluck RS, Ku J, Bass T, MacLeod J, Brunner H, Miller CA. Analysis of cost outliers after gastric bypass surgery: what can we learn? Obesity Surgery 2003;13(1):29-36.
  5. Schumann R, Jones SB, Ortiz VE, Connor K, Pulai I, Ozawa ET, Harvey AM, Carr DB. Best practice recommendations for anesthetic perioperative care and pain management in weight loss surgery. Obes Res. 2005;13(2):254-66.
  6. Lankford DA, Proctor CD, Richard R. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) changes in bariatric surgery patients undergoing rapid weight loss. Obes Surg 2005;15(3):336-41.
  7. Guardiano SA, Scott JA, Ware JC, Schechner SA. The long-term results of gastric bypass on indexes of sleep apnea. Chest 2003;124(4):1615-9.
  8. Charuzi I, Lavie P, Peiser J, Peled R.Bariatric surgery in morbidly obese sleep-apnea patients: short- and long-term follow-up. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55(2 Suppl):594S-6S.
  9. Peppard PE, Young T, Palta M, Dempsey J, Skatrud J.Longitudinal study of moderate weight change and sleep-disordered breathing. JAMA 2000;284(23):3015-21.