As not all individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are obese, a Medical Xpress report examines a new study that highlights the need for a different treatment approach in patients.

This is the first study to highlight that respiratory arousal, a key contributor to OSA that is not related to anatomy, differs in non-obese versus obese patients. The latter population responds well to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment, but this is not the case with normal-to-overweight patients.

The study found that the majority of non-obese patients suffer from a low respiratory arousal threshold, which means they have a greater tendency to wake easily. This may be a factor that limits their tolerance for CPAP therapy.

“Non-obese OSA patients are a challenging group to treat with existing therapies as they are less adherent and compliant with CPAP therapy compared to obese patients with sleep apnea,” says study author Assoc Prof Danny Eckert.

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