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TREATING SLEEP APNEA

ANCHOR LEAD: Now that sleep apnea has been shown to increase the risk of death, how can it be treated?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Sleep apnea may be best managed using a device abbreviated CPAP, for continuous positive airway  pressure, but Naresh Punjabi, one author of a Johns Hopkins study demonstrating that sleep apnea increases death risk, says that weight loss is also known to be effective.

PUNJABI:  There is strong evidence dating back almost twenty years that shows weight loss either through diet control or surgical approaches will lead to substantial improvement s in sleep apnea severity if not complete resolution, all determined by how much weight loss and whether or not there are additional risk factors.  Such as age, menopause and so forth.  And the nice thing about weight loss, if it can be achieved, which is very difficult, is not only does it impact from the standpoint of sleep apnea severity but it has other effects that are obviously direct and relevant.          :29

Punjabi says surgical approaches have not been proven to be helpful and may be risky.  Weight loss has additional benefits for blood pressure and heart disease risk.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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