Although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is not always associated with obesity, excessive weight is a major risk factor. About 70% of OSA patients are obese. Among obese persons, the incidence of OSA is approximately 40% (Poulain et al., 2006). The increased risk may be related to increased neck circumference and pharyngeal fat deposits. Often unrecognized, OSA has significance beyond daytime somnolence and the spousal impact of disruptive snoring and has been associated with systemic effects as well, such as pulmonary hypertension, right-sided CHF, and erectile dysfunction. Weight loss may benefit the OSA patient. Conversely, a patient with mild OSA who has a 10% increase in body weight then has a sixfold increased risk of progressing to moderate or severe sleep apnea (Caples et al., 2005).
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