SDB and obesity

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

  • Is highly prevalent in morbidly obese patients and is associated with increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias1
  • Has been found to affect as many as 77% of bariatric surgery candidates2
  • Increases the occurrence of major post-operative complications in bariatric surgery patients3 and increases hospital costs in this patient group4
  • Must be considered as part of perioperative care for bariatric surgery5
  • 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 apnea 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


  • 01

    Shah N and Roux F. The relationship of obesity and obstructive sleep apnea. Clin Chest Med 2009;30(3):455–65.

  • 02

    Peromaa-Haavisto P et al. Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea among patients admitted for bariatric surgery. A prospective multicentre trial. Obes Surg. 2015 Nov 11. [Epub ahead of print]

  • 03

    Perugini RA et al. 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.

  • 04

    Cooney RN et al. Analysis of cost outliers after gastric bypass surgery: what can we learn? Obesity Surgery 2003;13(1):29-36.

  • 05

    Schumann R et al. Update on best practice recommendations for anesthetic perioperative care and pain management in weight loss surgery, 2004-2007. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2009;17(5):889–94.

  • 06

    Lankford DA, Proctor CD and Richard R. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) changes in bariatric surgery patients undergoing rapid weight loss. Obes Surg 2005;15(3):336-41.

  • 07

    Guardiano SA et al. The long-term results of gastric bypass on indexes of sleep apnea. Chest 2003;124(4):1615-9.

  • 08

    Charuzi I et al. Bariatric surgery in morbidly obese sleep-apnea patients: short- and long-term follow-up. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55(2 Suppl):594S-6S.

  • 09

    Peppard PE et al. Longitudinal study of moderate weight change and sleep-disordered breathing. JAMA 2000;284(23):3015-21.

More research

Read about research in relation to sleep-disordered breathing and respiratory care.

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