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Pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals with the COPD + OSA Overlap syndrome versus OSA alone.

Overlap syndrome (OVS) is the concurrence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and is associated with poor outcomes. We hypothesized that physiological changes in COPD may affect the pathogenesis of OSA in important ways. We therefore sought to measure the anatomical and nonanatomical OSA traits in individuals with OVS and compare to those with OSA alone. Patients with established OVS were recruited, along with age, gender, and BMI matched OSA only controls. Smoking and relevant comorbidities or medications were excluded. Subjects underwent baseline polysomnography followed by an overnight physiological research study to measure the OSA traits (V , V , V , V , and loop gain). Fifteen subjects with OVS and 15 matched controls with OSA alone were studied (overall 66 ± 8 years, 20% women, BMI 31 ± 4 kg/m , apnea-hypopnea index 49 ± 36/hr). Mixed-modeling was used to incorporate each measurement (range 52-270 measures/trait), and account for age, gender, and BMI. There were no significant differences in the traits between OVS and OSA subjects, although OVS subjects potentially tolerated a lower ventilation before arousal (i.e., harder to wake; p = .06). Worsened lung function was significantly associated with worsened upper airway response and more unstable breathing (p < .05 for all). Consistent differences in key OSA traits were not observed between OVS and OSA alone. However, worse lung function does appear to exert an influence on several OSA traits. These findings indicate that a diagnosis of OVS should not generally influence the approach to OSA, but that lung function might be considered if utilizing OSA trait-specific treatment.

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Endocrine testing in obesity.

Endocrine disorders such as Cushing's syndrome and hypothyroidism may cause weight gain and exacerbate metabolic dysfunction in obesity. Other forms of endocrine dysfunction, particularly gonadal dysfunction (predominantly testosterone deficiency in men and polycystic ovarian syndrome in women), and abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the growth hormone-IGF-1 system, and vitamin D deficiency are common in obesity. As a result, endocrinologists may be referred people with obesity for endocrine testing and asked to consider treatment with various hormones. A recent systematic review and associated guidance from the European Society of Endocrinology provide a useful evidence summary and clear guidelines on endocrine testing and treatment in people with obesity. With the exception of screening for hypothyroidism, most endocrine testing is not recommended in the absence of clinical features of endocrine syndromes in obesity, and likewise hormone treatment is rarely needed. These guidelines should help reduce unnecessary endocrine testing in those referred for assessment of obesity, and encourage clinicians to support patients with their attempts at weight loss, which if successful has a good chance of correcting any endocrine dysfunction.

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