According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), approximately 22 million Americans of all ages suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) undiagnosed. What is the solution? Lose weight.
New guidelines from the American College of Physicians say the first line of defense against OSA should be weight loss, and further research concluded that "some intensive weight-loss programs may effectively reduce signs and symptoms of (OSA) in obese patients with or without diabetes."
When left untreated OSA can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
OSA is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression; and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, due to the persistent drowsiness suffered by many OSA patients before the disease is recognized and treated.
If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, the ASAA provides ways to test yourself and get you on the road to treatment.