A study reveals that total respiratory resistance and peripheral airway resistance are more likely to occur in obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Arikin Abdeyrim, PhD, of Xinjiang Medical University in China, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to assess lung volume and respiratory mechanical properties in patients with obesity who did and did not have OSA. The analysis included men (n = 193) and women (n = 70) with some degree of obesity without any history of lung diseases and a suspicion of OSA. The researchers then separated the participants by sex and analyzed the results.

Functional residual capacity and expiratory reserve volume (P < .001 for both) appeared to significantly diminish in the men with OSA (n = 106) compared with those without OSA.

Expiratory reserve volume (P = .022) and functional residual capacity (P = .037) also decreased in the women with OSA (n = 35).

The researchers said OSA, based on its severity, affects lung elasticity and its recoil pressure is increased in OSA. This may result in decreased lung volume and greater airflow resistance in upper and intrathoracic airways in this population.

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