Weight Loss and Reductions in Sleepiness: A Causal Relationship?

Large improvement in daytime sleepiness with surgical weight loss interventions
Large improvement in daytime sleepiness with surgical weight loss interventions

HealthDay News — For overweight or obese adults, intentional weight loss is associated with improvement in daytime sleepiness, according to a review published online January 24 in Obesity Reviews.

Winda L. Ng, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues examined the extent to which intentional weight loss affects daytime sleepiness. Data were included from 42 studies that involved overweight or obese adults, a weight loss intervention, and repeated valid measures of daytime sleepiness. 

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The researchers observed large improvements in daytime sleepiness in 15 before-and-after studies on surgical weight loss interventions (standardized effect size, −0.97). Small-to-moderate improvements were seen in daytime sleepiness in 27 studies on non-surgical weight loss interventions (standardized effect size, −0.40); there was no difference between controlled and before-and-after studies. The amount of weight loss was correlated in a nonlinear manner with change in daytime sleepiness.

"This review suggests that weight loss interventions improve daytime sleepiness, with a clear dose-response relationship," the authors write. "This supports the previously hypothesized causal effect of obesity on daytime sleepiness. It is important to assess and manage daytime sleepiness in obese patients."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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