Weight loss should be recommended to all patients with overweight or obesity who have obstructive sleep apnoea, as it may reduce the severity of sleep apnoea or in rare cases even cure it. Weight loss also has positive impacts on sleep quality, quality of life and other obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which there are episodes of partial (hypopnoea) or complete obstruction (apnoea) of the upper airway during sleep (Figure 1). These episodes lead to oxygen desaturation, increased respiratory effort, increased cortical arousal and sleep fragmentation. OSA is often underdiagnosed as it develops slowly and occurs predominantly during sleep or symptoms are misattributed to busy lives and chronic sleep deprivation.