For adults with obstructive sleep apnea, using CPAP therapy or other airway-opening devices are one of the best courses of action to treat their sleep disorder. Overweight and obese adults with sleep apnea should also be encouraged and helped to lose weight as part of treating sleep apnea.
These are the messages from new clinical guidelines announced by the American College of Physicians. The ACP announced its new recommendations to doctors for treating obstructive sleep apnea — and a summary of the research that led to these guidelines — in a reportpublished in its journal, Annals of Internal Medicine. The guidelines emphasize the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight as a strategy to alleviate OSA. They also point to CPAP and, alternatively, to mandibular advancement devices (MAD) as effective treatments for sleep apnea after initial diagnosis.
Recommendation 1: ACP recommends that all overweight and obese patients diagnosed with OSA should be encouraged to lose weight. (Grade: strong recommendation; low-quality evidence)
Recommendation 2: ACP recommends continuous positive airway pressure treatment as initial therapy for patients diagnosed with OSA. (Grade: strong recommendation; moderate-quality evidence)
Recommendation 3: ACP recommends mandibular advancement devices as an alternative therapy to continuous positive airway pressure treatment for patients diagnosed with OSA who prefer mandibular advancement devices or for those with adverse effects associated with continuous positive airway pressure treatment. (Grade: weak recommendation; low-quality evidence)