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Sleep Breath. 2013 Sep;17(3):925-35. doi: 10.1007/s11325-013-0806-7. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

The impact of diet and lifestyle management strategies for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.



To systematically evaluate the impact of diet, exercise and lifestyle modification programmes on indices of obesity, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) parameters and quality of life (QoL) in adults with OSA.


Electronic databases were searched to identify randomised controlled trials published in English with an intervention based on dietary weight loss, exercise and/or lifestyle programme in adults with OSA. Meta-analyses were conducted using random-effects models.


Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria with nine comparing similar interventions. Diet and diet plus continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy were compared in three studies (n = 261), and intensive lifestyle programmes and routine care were compared in six studies (n = 483). Diet with CPAP therapy reduced weight by -2.64 kg (95 % Confidence Interval (CI) -3.98, -1.30, I (2) = 0 %) compared with diet alone. No differences were observed for QoL or Epworth Sleepiness Scale. A significant reduction in weight was seen in participants receiving an intensive lifestyle intervention of -5.65 kg (95 % CI -10.91, -0.40, I(2) = 95.7 %) compared with controls. Reductions were also observed for waist circumference (-5.80 cm, 95 % CI -8.64, -2.96, I(2) = 77.7 %), body mass index (BMI) (-2.33 kg/m(2), 95 % CI -3.41, -1.24, I(2) = 78.8 %) and the Apnoea Hypopnoea Index (AHI) (-4.55 events/h, 95 % CI -7.12, -1.98, I(2) = 54.4 %) but with high levels of heterogeneity.


Intensive lifestyle management can significantly reduce obesity indices and improve AHI. Future research is required to investigate this effect due to a limited number of studies identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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