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Losing weight can help in stopping sleep apnea

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More than 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing stops for short periods of time during sleep. It can cause snoring, poor sleep quality and reduced quality of life, as well as lead to heart disease.

Sleep apnea is most common among those who are overweight, because excess weight can cause the airway to collapse during sleep.

Now researchers have shown in a large clinical trial that patients who lost an average of 24 pounds, or about 10% of their body weight, were 3 times more likely than those who didn’t lose weight to have complete remission of their apnea. Those that didn’t have complete remission still had their episodes of severe sleep apnea cut in half.

Patients were able to achieve this weight loss using a combination of a group behavior modification program, a portion-controlled diet, and by exercising for 3 hours a week.

Studies have also suggested that sleep apnea can lead to putting on extra pounds, so gaining control over the problem provides health benefits in the short and long-term.

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Snoring can be caused by sleep apnea, but new research proves that losing weight can be a cure.

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