Increased central adiposity in morbidly obese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea

Intern Med J. 2011 Jul;41(7):560-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2010.02283.x. Epub 2010 Jun 7.


Background: With the growing epidemic of obesity, few data are available regarding adipose distribution and the severity of sleep apnoea. Our aim was to measure precisely adipose distribution with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a morbidly obese population with and without obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Methods: Morbidly obese female subjects without a history of OSA underwent overnight polysomnography and DXA analysis. Subject demographics, DXA variables, serum laboratory markers and physical exam characteristics were compared between individuals with and without OSA.

Results: For the study population (n= 26), mean body mass index (BMI) was 45.9 ± 7.8 kg/m(2); mean age was 47.5 ± 10.2 years and all were female. The central adiposity ratio (CAR) was higher in individuals with OSA (apnoea-hypopnoea index > 5) than those without OSA (1.1 ± 0.05 vs 1.0 ± 0.04; P = 0.004). No difference was observed in Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores, body mass index (BMI) or neck circumference between groups.

Conclusions: OSA is associated with increased central adipose deposition in patients with a BMI of >40 kg/m(2). These data may be helpful in designing future studies regarding the pathophysiology of OSA, and potential treatment options.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / diagnosis
  • Obesity, Abdominal / physiopathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications*
  • Obesity, Morbid / diagnosis
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology