Nasal continuous positive airway pressure improves quality of life in obesity hypoventilation syndrome

Sleep Breath. 2003 Mar;7(1):3-12. doi: 10.1007/s11325-003-0003-1.


We studied the quality of life of obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) by comparing it with age- and body mass index-matched patients without hypoventilation and age-matched obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients with body mass index (BMI) under 30, and the efficacy of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for 3 to 6 months on the quality of life in these patients. Prospectively recruited patients from six sleep laboratories in Japan were administered assessments of the general health status by the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and subjective sleepiness by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Compared with matched healthy subjects, OHS and OSA patients not yet treated had worse results on the ESS scores and the SF-36 subscales for physical functioning, role limitations due to physical problems, general health perception, energy/vitality, role limitations due to emotional problems, and social functioning. The ESS scores of OHS patients were worse than those of the OSA groups including the age- and BMI-matched OSA patients. In the SF-36 subscales of OHS patients, only the subscale of social functioning showed worse results compared with that of BMI-matched OSA patients. After 3 to 6 months of treatment, ESS scores and these SF-36 subscales in all three patient groups improved to the normal level. These results suggested that the quality of life of OHS before nasal CPAP was significantly impaired and that nasal CPAP for OHS improved the quality of life associated with the improvement of daytime sleepiness to the level of the other OSA patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / epidemiology
  • Hypoventilation / etiology*
  • Hypoventilation / therapy*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Polysomnography
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires