Obstructive sleep apnoea and 12-month weight loss in adults with class 3 obesity attending a multidisciplinary weight management program

Although there is a strong association between obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), the effects of OSA and CPAP therapy on weight loss are less well known. The aim of this study in adults with class 3 obesity attending a multidisciplinary weight management program was to assess the relationship between OSA and CPAP usage, and 12-month weight change.

A retrospective cohort study of all patients commencing an intensive multidisciplinary publicly funded weight management program in Sydney, Australia, between March 2018 and March 2019. OSA was diagnosed using laboratory overnight sleep studies. Demographic and clinical data, and use of CPAP therapy was collected at baseline and 12 months. CPAP use was confirmed if used ≥4 h on average per night on download.

Of the 178 patients who joined the program, 111 (62.4 %) completed 12 months in the program. At baseline, 63.1 % (n=70) of patients had OSA, of whom 54.3 % (n=38) were using CPAP. The non-OSA group had more females compared to the OSA with CPAP group and OSA without CPAP group (90.2 % vs. 57.9 % and 62.5 %, respectively; p=0.003), but there were no significant baseline differences in BMI (50.4±9.3 vs. 52.1±8.7 and 50.3±9.5 kg/m2, respectively; p=0.636). There was significant weight loss across all three groups at 12 months. However, there were no statistically significant differences across groups in the percentage of body weight loss (OSA with CPAP: 6.3±5.6 %, OSA without CPAP: 6.8±6.9 %, non-OSA: 7.2±6.5 %; p=0.844), or the proportion of patients who achieved ≥5 % body weight loss (OSA with CPAP: 57.9 %, OSA without CPAP: 59.4 %, non-OSA: 65.9 %; p=0.743). In patients with T2DM, there was a significant reduction in HbA1c from baseline to 12 months (7.8±1.7 % to 7.3±1.4 %, p=0.03), with no difference between groups (p=0.997).

This multidisciplinary weight management program resulted in significant weight loss at 12 months, regardless of OSA diagnosis or CPAP use in adults with class 3 obesity. Larger studies are needed to further investigate the effects of severity of OSA status and CPAP use in weight management programs. Until completed, this study suggests that the focus should remain on implementing lifestyle changes and weight management regardless of OSA status.