A new guideline focused on the role of weight management in treating adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been published online by the American Thoracic Society in the Sept 15 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Being overweight or obese is a strong risk factor for OSA, and weight loss can often reduce the severity of OSA.
“This guideline expands the content of previous clinical practice guidelines addressing the care of OSA patients who are overweight or obese by offering specific recommendations for weight loss and discussing the evidence for each recommendation,” says David W. Hudgel, MD, panel chair and a specialist and investigator in sleep-disordered breathing, in a release. “In addition to these scientifically derived recommendations, the guideline reviews and discusses successful methods for practitioners to discuss weight issues and ways to interact with patients who are overweight or obese.”
The 20-member guideline panel—which included sleep, pulmonary, weight management, and behavioral experts, as well as three patients—reviewed scores of studies and rated the strength of study findings, along with the certainty of the panel’s recommendations, using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system.
For patients with OSA who are overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2 ) the panel:
- Recommended participation in a comprehensive lifestyle intervention program that includes a reduced calorie diet, exercise/increased physical activity and behavioral counseling (strong recommendation, very low certainty in