Obesity surgery can improve sleep

Obesity surgery has been shown to have a number of health benefits in addition to the intended weight loss.

According to Spanish researchers, obesity surgery can significantly reduce and even stop sleep apnoea, a condition in which a person's breathing is interrupted while they sleep.

If a person is obese, their airways become narrowed as a result of fatty tissue around the neck. During sleep, the throat muscles relax and make the airway even more narrow.

Researchers at a hospital in Barcelona determined the frequency of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) in 31 obese patients both before and after obesity surgery.

They found that the weight loss associated with obesity surgery led to significant improvements in apnoea symptoms.

"Following surgery, the apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI) fell from 59 to nine on average, with only three patients presenting an AHI above 15," said Ana Maria Fortuna, who presented the results at the annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in Stockholm.

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