A 12-month weight loss intervention in adults with obstructive sleep apnoea: is timing important? A step wedge randomised trial

Helen Truby, Bradley A. Edwards, Kaitlin Day, Denise M. O’Driscoll, Alan Young, Ladan Ghazi, Claire Bristow, Kerryn Roem, Maxine P. Bonham, Chiara Murgia, Terry P. Haines, Garun S. Hamilton

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Background/Objectives: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) concomitant with weight loss is a recommended treatment approach for adults with moderate-severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and obesity. This requires multiple synchronous behaviour changes. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a 6-month lifestyle intervention and to determine whether the timing of starting a weight loss attempt affects weight change and trajectory after 12 months in adults newly diagnosed with moderate-severe OSA and treated at home with overnight CPAP. Methods: Using a stepped-wedge design, participants were randomised to commence a six-month lifestyle intervention between one and six-months post-enrolment, with a 12-month overall follow-up. Adults (n = 60, 75% males, mean age 49.4 SD 10.74 years) newly diagnosed with moderate-severe OSA and above a healthy weight (mean BMI 34.1 SD 4.8) were recruited. Results: After 12 months, exposure to the intervention (CPAP and lifestyle) resulted in a 3.7 (95% CI: 2.6 to 4.8, p < 0.001) kg loss of weight compared to the control condition (CPAP alone). Timing of the weight loss attempt made no difference to outcomes at 12 months. When exposed to CPAP only (control period) there was no change in body weight (Coef, [95% CI] 0.03, [−0.3 to 0.36], p = 0.86). Conclusions: The lifestyle intervention resulted in a modest reduction in body weight, while timing of commencement did not impact the degree of weight loss at 12 months. These findings support the recommendation of adjunctive weight-loss interventions within six-months of starting CPAP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1762–1769
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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