Exercise Appears to Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms
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Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Exercise was found to be an effective stand-alone treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a newly published meta-analysis, but more research will be needed to determine the mechanism behind the observed association, researchers say.  In the analysis of eight small studies with a total of 182 patients, both supervised and unsupervised exercise was associated with significant decreases in the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) and improvements in other sleep measures, including the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS).

“We noticed that a number of patients who began exercise programs for other conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, showed improvements in their OSA symptoms which were confirmed when we went back and redid their polysonography.”  Exercise has been shown to greatly reduce the risk and severity of diseases associated with OSA, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and obesity. Earlier research has also shown improvements in OSA symptoms linked to exercise, but these studies have been small, the researchers noted.  "It is not fully understood how exercise reduces OSA symptoms, but previous reviews have indicated that the impact of exercise on OSA is not related to reduction of body weight or BMI in both epidemiologic and experimental studies."

"The beauty of exercise is that it does so many good things. Exercise decreases cardiovascular risk, and it helps with hypertension, diabetes, depression, and many other conditions."

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pulmonology/SleepDisorders/58206