ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve

(HealthDay News) -- People with sleep apnea who are also obese may triple the chances of eliminating their sleep problems by losing weight, a new study suggests.

Losing about 10 percent of their body weight was enough to bring on total or near-total remission, said Gary Foster, head of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, and lead author of the study.

"It's been clear that obesity increases the risk of sleep apnea but less clear that if obese people or people with type 2 diabetes lost weight, it would result in significant improvements in their sleep apnea -- and it did," said Foster.

People who are overweight or obese are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which a person's breathing stops or becomes very shallow, sometimes several hundred times a night and sometimes for as long as a minute, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.

"The soft palate in the back of mouth falls down and blocks the airway," said Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "When you get to people with serious levels of obesity, it's virtually impossible to find those without [this type of] sleep apnea."

The condition can lead to cardiovascular problems, including stroke, and can raise the risk for dying prematurely.

"It really has tremendous detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system," Roslin said.

The study involved 264 obese men and women who also had type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. They were randomly assigned to an intensive behavioral program intended to encourage weight loss or to a less intensive set of group sessions that mainly addressed the issue of diabetes management.

After a year, those in the intensive program had lost an average of about 24 pounds, compared with slightly more than a one-pound average weight loss for the others.

Those who lost the weight also saw a substantial reduction in the number of sleep apnea episodes they experienced, with more than three times as many people in the intensive group experiencing complete remission (13.6 percent versus 3.5 percent).

"The greatest benefit was seen in men and those with severe apnea," Foster said.

Any amount of weight loss brought on an improvement, but those who lost about 10 percent of their original body weight saw the greatest effect. "Any weight loss is good," Foster said.

Most experts recommend 10 percent as the weight loss needed to improve sleep apnea.

However, the study also found that people whose weight remained stable experienced a worsening in their sleep apnea. Just why that occurred remains unclear.

"This is one of the first and certainly the largest study ever conducted so we're at the point in the field, unfortunately, where we're just describing the effect," Foster said.

The study, published Sept. 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, does seem to confirm what common sense and experience have shown.

"We've seen that when patients gain five to 10 pounds, their sleep apnea is much worse. If they lose five to 10 pounds, the sleep apnea is much better," said Dr. Hormoz Ashtyani, director of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "It's usually not a resolution, but it's a significant improvement."

SOURCES: Gary Foster, Ph.D., director, Center for Obesity Research and Education, and professor, medicine and public health, Temple University, Philadelphia; Hormoz Ashtyani, M.D., director, pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, N.J.; Mitchell Roslin, M.D., chief, bariatric surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 28, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine