ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Know Your Asthma Triggers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
CANCER
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
The Food Irradiation Story
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FITNESS
Run for Your Life
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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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