Does CPAP Lead to Change in BMI?

Rachel Redenius1; Carli Murphy, B.S.1; Erin O’Neill1; Majed Al-Hamwi, M.D.2; Sarah Nath Zallek, M.D.1,2

1Illinois Neurological Institute Sleep Center, Peoria, IL; 2University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL

Study objectives:

is an important risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and weight loss can reduce apnea severity or even lead to resolution in some patients. Effective CPAP therapy may lead to weight loss by any of several proposed mechanisms, including, but not limited to, increased physical activity and increased responsiveness to leptin. This retrospective study sought to determine whether subjects who adhered to prescribed CPAP treatment for OSAS would lose weight, or gain less weight than control subjects who were either untreated or did not adhere to prescribed CPAP treatment.


BMI was determined at the time of diagnosis and at followup approximately 1 year (10-14 months) later. Subjects who used CPAP ≥ 4 h per night and ≥ 70% of nights were considered treatment subjects. Control subjects used no treatment for OSAS or used CPAP < 4 hours per night or < 70% of nights for 1 year.


BMI of treatment and control subjects did not significantly differ (p = 0.3157). BMI increased with 1 year of CPAP use in women but not men (p = 0.0228) and in non-obese subjects (p = 0.0443). BMI did not significantly decrease in any group treated with CPAP.


CPAP was associated with weight gain in some; none lost weight. CPAP may affect weight in ways not measured here. Physicians should stress an active weight loss plan and not assume CPAP alone will lead to weight loss. A larger, prospective study may help clarify these findings.

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of a Sleep Bruxism Monitor in a dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is a senior brand manager for Glidewell Dental Laboratory his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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