09:49pm Monday 16 October 2017

Restricting calories may improve sleep apnea, blood pressure in obese people

Study Highlights:

  • Restricting calories may improve sleep apnea and reduce blood pressure in obese adults.
  • Those who restricted their calories had higher levels of oxygen in their blood and a greater reduction in body weight.

SAN FRANCISCO —  Restricting calories may improve obstructive sleep apnea and reduce high blood pressure in obese adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions 2014.

People with sleep apnea may experience pauses in breathing five to 30 times per hour or more while sleeping. It prevents restful sleep and is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), stroke and heart failure.

In a 16-week ramdomized clinical trial, researchers analyzed 21 obese people 20-55 years old with a history of sleep apnea. Researchers instructed one group to reduce their calorie intake by 800 calories per day, while another group continued their current diet. Researchers found those in the calorie-restricted group had fewer pauses in breathing during sleep, lower blood pressure, higher levels of oxygen in their blood and a greater reduction in body weight. .

“This study suggests that in obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea, moderate energy restriction can reduce not only body fat but also the severity of obstructive sleep apnea,” said Marcia R. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study and adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Nutrition at Rio de Janero State University in Brazil. “So moderate energy restriction in these patients has the potential to reduce cardiovascular risk.

“Losing weight was most likely the key to all the benefits observed in the calorie-restricted group. A greater reduction in systolic blood pressure can be explained, at least partially, by the reduction in body weight that was associated with reduction in obstructive sleep apnea severity and sympathetic nervous system activity.” Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading, which measures the force of the blood in the arteries when the heart is contracted.

Co-authors are: Julia F Fernandes, M.D.; Luciene S. Araújo, M.D.; Maria de Lourdes G. Rodrigues, M.D.; Debora C. Valença, M.D. student; José Firmino N Neto, M.D., Ph.D.; Bernardo B. Gaspar, graduate student; Nathalia F. Gomes, graduate student; Hadassa G. Carvalho, graduate student; and Antonio F. Sanjuliani, M.D., Ph.D.

Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisado Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) funded the study, which was conducted at the Discipline of Clinical and Experimental Pathophysiology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil.

Additional Resources:

Follow #HBPR14 on Twitter for conference news and updates.

Sleep apnea treatment may protect against heart failure

Lack of sleep may increase calorie consumption

Researcher photo, Beating Heart Animation, brain illustrations, blood pressure photos and a sleep apnea photo are all available on the right column of this news release link: http://newsroom.heart.org/news/restricting-calories-may-improve-sleep-apnea-blood-pressure-in-obese-people?preview=f9209bb99643b7043c85633c6a603360

For high blood pressure tools and information, visit heart.org/hbp.

For the latest heart and stroke news, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews.

Note: Actual presentation is 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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