Obstructive sleep apnea and early weight loss among adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2021 Apr;17(4):711-717. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2020.12.003. Epub 2020 Dec 17.


Background: Little is known regarding obstructive sleep apnea's (OSA's) prevalence or the factors related to OSA remission post-metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS) in adolescents.

Objectives: To identify the baseline OSA prevalence in adolescents with severe obesity and examine factors associated with post-MBS OSA remission.

Setting: Tertiary-care children's hospital.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 81 patients pre-MBS with OSA assessments done between June 2017 to September 2020 to collect demographic characteristics; co-morbidities; polysomnography (PSG) results, if indicated; and weight data. Chi-square or Mann-Whitney tests compared baseline characteristics and surgical outcomes by pre-MBS OSA status. McNemar's test or t tests assessed differences in baseline characteristics, stratified by remission versus no remission of OSA.

Results: The patients were 71% female, had an average age of 16.9 ± 2.0 years, and had a mean body mass index (BMI) of 47.9 ± 7.3 kg/m2. Half (50%) of the patients were Hispanic and 20% had type 2 diabetes. The OSA prevalence, defined as an Obstructive Apnea Hypopnea Index (OAHI) score ≥5, was 54% pre-MBS (n = 44), with 43% having severe OSA (OAHI > 30). Those with OSA were older (17.3 versus 16.4 yr, respectively; P = .05), more likely to be male (79% versus 42%, respectively; P = .022), and had higher baseline weights (142.0 versus 126.4 kg, respectively; P = .001) than those without OSA. Of the 23 patients with a post-MBS PSG result (average 5 mo post MBS), 15 (66%) had remission of OSA. Patients with OSA remission had a lower average pre-MBS BMI (46.0 versus 57.7 kg/m2, respectively; P < .001) and weight (132.9 versus 172.6 kg, respectively; P = .002) but no significant differences in percentage weight loss through 12 months post MBS versus those with continued OSA.

Conclusion: The OSA prevalence in an adolescent MBS population was higher than that in the general adolescent population with severe obesity. Remission of OSA was correlated with lower pre-MBS BMI and weight, but not weight loss within the first year post-MBS.

Keywords: Adolescents; Bariatric surgery; OSA; Sleep; Weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive*
  • Weight Loss