Effect of exercise training on sleep apnea: A systematic review and meta-analysis

TitleEffect of exercise training on sleep apnea: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAiello Kenneth D., Caughey William G., Nelluri Bhargava, Sharma Ashwini, Mookadam Farouk, and Mookadam Martina
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Start Page85
Date Published08/2016

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is difficult to manage for those who are intolerant or noncompliant with standard facial mask treatment options. Current treatment options do not address the underlying cause of OSA. Exercise as a treatment option has been found to improve OSA indices.

Study objectives
To assess the efficacy of exercise on apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) in adult patients with OSA via a systematic review and meta-analysis. Additional objectives included evaluation of other indices of OSA and well-being in patients after completing an exercise regimen.

Measurements and results
Web of Science, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched based on a priori criteria of all studies evaluating the effect of an exercise program on various sleep apnea indices. Both PRISMA statement and MOOSE consensus statement were adhered to. Eight Articles (182 participants) were included: a meta-analysis using a random effects model showed, a decrease in AHI (unstandardized mean difference [USMD], −0.536, 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.865 to −0.206, I2, 20%), reduced Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) (USMD, −1.246, 95% CI, −2.397 to −0.0953, I2, 0%), and lower body mass index (BMI) (USMD, −0.0473, 95% CI, −0.0375 to 0.280, I2, 0%), in patients receiving exercise as treatment. Relative risks (RR) and odds ratios (OR) showed decreases in AHI (OR: 72.33, 95% CI, 27.906 to 187.491, RR: 7.294, 95% CI, 4.072 to 13.065) in patients receiving exercise as treatment.

Among adult patients with OSA, exercise as the sole intervention was associated with improved clinical outcomes.