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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Jul;21(7):1446-50. doi: 10.1002/oby.20337. Epub 2013 May 25.

Metabolic disregulation in obese adolescents with sleep-disordered breathing before and after weight loss.

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Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.



Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is prevalent in obesity. Weight loss is one of the most effective treatment options. The aim was to assess the association of SDB and metabolic disruption before and after weight loss.


Obese adolescents were included when entering an in-patient weight loss program. Fasting blood analysis was performed at baseline and after 4-6 months. Sleep screening was done at baseline and at follow-up in case of baseline SDB.


224 obese adolescents were included. Median age was 15.5 years (10.1-18.0) and mean BMI z-score was 2.74 ± 0.42. About 30% had SDB at baseline (N = 68). High-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol was associated with mean nocturnal oxygen saturation (<SaO2>) (partial r = 0.21; P = 0.002). Aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and alanine aminotransferase were related with oxygen desaturation index (partial r = -0.15; P = 0.03 and partial r = -0.15; P = 0.02), but this became insignificant after correction for sex. After weight loss, 24% had residual SDB. Linear regression showed an association between ASAT and <SaO2> (partial r = -0.34; P = 0.002). There were no significant correlations between improvements in laboratory measurements and sleep parameters. HDL-cholesterol improved in relation with the decrease in BMI z-score.


SDB at baseline was associated with higher levels of liver enzymes and lower HDL-cholesterol concentration. Improvements in sleep parameters were not associated with improvements in laboratory measurements.

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