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N Am J Med Sci. 2013 Jun;5(6):362-6. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.114168.

Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Severity with Exercise Capacity and Health-related Quality of Life.

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Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Laboratory for Health and Exercise Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.



Current research is inconclusive as to whether obstructive sleep apnea severity directly limits exercise capacity and lowers health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of obstructive sleep apnea severity with determinants of exercise capacity and HRQoL.


Subjects were evaluated by home somnography and classified as no obstructive sleep apnea (n = 43) or as having mild (n = 27), moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea (n = 21). Exercise capacity was assessed by a ramping cycle ergometer test, and HRQoL was assessed with the SF-36 questionnaire.


Greater obstructive sleep apnea severity was associated with older age, higher body weight, higher body mass index, lower peak aerobic capacity, a higher percentage of peak aerobic capacity at a submaximal exercise intensity of 55 watts, and lower physical component summary score from the SF-36. None of these variables were statistically different among obstructive sleep apnea severity groups after controlling for age and body weight. Obstructive sleep apnea severity was not associated with any cardiorespiratory fitness or HRQoL parameter.


Obstructive sleep apnea severity has no independent association with exercise capacity or HRQoL.


Cardiorespiratory fitness; Health-related quality of life; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

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