Obesity Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 809–814 | Cite as

Prevalence and Severity of Sleep Apnea in a Group of Morbidly Obese Patients

  • Carla Daltro
  • Paloma Baiardi Gregorio
  • Erivaldo Alves
  • Maurício Abreu
  • Daniel Bomfim
  • Maria Helena Chicourel
  • Leila Araújo
  • Helma P. Cotrim


Obesity is the most important risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. It is estimated that 70% of sleep apnea patients are obese. In the morbidly obese, the prevalence may reach 80% in men and 50% in women. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of sleep apnea in a group of morbidly obese patients, leading to bariatric surgery.


In a cross-sectional study developed in Bahia, northeastern Brazil. 108 patients (78 women and 30 men) from the Obesity Treatment and Surgery Center - “Núcleo de Tratamento e Cirurgia da Obesidade” underwent standard polysomnography. Patients with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 5 events/hour were considered apneic.


Mean ± SD for age and BMI were 37.1 ± 10.2 years and 45.2 ± 5.4 kg/m2, respectively. The calculated AHI ranged widely from 2.5 to 128.9 events/hour. Sleep apnea was detected in 93.6% of the sample, wherein 35.2% had mild, 30.6% moderate and 27.8% severe apnea. Oxyhemoglobin desaturation was directly related to the AHI and was more severe in men.


There was a high frequency of sleep apnea in this group of morbidly obese patients, for whom it was very important to request polysomnography, thus enabling therapeutic management and prognostication.

Key words

Oxyhemoglobin desaturation morbid obesity obesity surgery polysomnography apnea-hypopnea index 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Daltro
    • 1
    • 6
  • Paloma Baiardi Gregorio
    • 2
  • Erivaldo Alves
    • 3
  • Maurício Abreu
    • 4
  • Daniel Bomfim
    • 4
  • Maria Helena Chicourel
    • 4
  • Leila Araújo
    • 5
  • Helma P. Cotrim
    • 5
  1. 1.Professor, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Internal MedicineBahiaBrazil
  2. 2.Doctor of Cardio Pulmonary Sleep LaboratoryBahiaBrazil
  3. 3.Surgeon of Obesity Treatment and Surgery CenterBahiaBrazil
  4. 4.Medical Student at Bahiana School of Medicine and Public HealthBahiaBrazil
  5. 5.Professor, Bahia, Federal University of Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineBahiaBrazil
  6. 6.Rua Clarival do Prado ValladaresBahiaBrazil

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