Call for new approach to slim sleep apnoea patients

Just over half of people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) do not have significant weight problems and may require a different approach to conventional treatment.

New Australian research shows that while obese patients respond well to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, normal weight and overweight people often do not, presenting a challenge to clinicians.

The data from 163 consecutive in-laboratory diagnostic sleep studies show that non-obese patients tend to suffer from a low respiratory arousal threshold, which means they have a greater tendency to wake easily.

This may be a factor that limits their tolerance for CPAP therapy, say the researchers, who note lower rates of adherence and compliance.

Accordingly, clinicians need to keep BMI in mind when prescribing therapies for OSA patients.

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