There are many correlations between sleep apnea (specifically, OSA) and health. According to the National Sleep Foundation OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) affects 3% to 7% of the United States population. Being overweight along with other factors such as nasal congestion and small airways are all common causes of this sleep disorder. But, did you know that half of sleep apnea patients are overweight? Here’s what we can learn from the connection between sleep apnea and weight.
Weight Gain Leading to Sleep Apnea:
Weight gain leads to a buildup of fat in the neck area and it can put pressure on the airways, causing sleep apnea to occur. BMI and neck circumference are the two main markers that point to an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea. A BMI of 25-29.9 and above is considered obese; as well as a neck circumferences of 17 inches in men and 15 inches in women. Luckily, there’s one main way to decrease BMI and neck circumference, exercise. Weight loss can help to improve OSA all together.
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