Predicting the successful resolution of obstructive sleep apnoea following weight-loss surgery

Project: Research

Project Description

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder, present in at least 11% of adult men and 3% of adult women and is an independent risk factor for
cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, making OSA a major health concern. Importantly obesity, which is the strongest risk factor for OSA, is a growing
epidemic and is one the western world’s leading health care concerns. However, the exact mechanisms by which obesity increases the risk of OSA are poorly
understood. Current evidence suggests that the pathogenesis of OSA is due to the interactions of several physiological traits including 1) a poor upper airway
anatomy evidenced by a highly collapsible airway, 2) the inability of the upper airway muscles to activate and reopen the airway during sleep, 3) a low
respiratory arousal threshold from sleep and 4) an unstable ventilatory control system. The only data available suggest that obesity increases the collapsibility
of the upper airway. However, we do not know how obesity alters these traits (in the same individual) and whether it involves predominantly one or several of
the mechanistic pathways. Therefore, this study aims to examine the effect that obesity has on each of the mechanisms. Using well-established physiological
techniques, we will measure the traits both before and after weight loss surgery in a group of obese OSA patients. Additionally, using all the variables
measured in this study, we aim to be able to predict the important factors involved in the successful resolution of OSA following weight loss. Understanding the important factor(s) involved linking obesity with OSA is crucial for developing more effective interventions and treatment strategies.
Short titleHow does obesity cause sleep apnoea?
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/21


  • National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC): AUD719,215.00