Pediatric obesity and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) are strongly associated, and both promote metabolic impairments. However, the effects of a lifestyle intervention on the overall metabolic syndrome (MetS) are unknown. The objectives were i) to evaluate the effects of a lifestyle intervention on cardiometabolic risk (CMR), assessed with a dichotomous (MetS) and a continuous (MetScore) instrument, in obese adolescents with and without SDB and ii) to compare the post-intervention cardiometabolic responses between adolescents with persistent (apnea-hypopnea index; AHI≥2) or normalized-SDB (AHI<2).
Seventy-six adolescents with obesity recruited from two specialized institutions underwent a 9-12month diet and exercise intervention. Sleep and SDB (AHI≥2) were studied by polysomnography. Anthropometric parameters, fat mass (FM), glucose, insulin, lipid and leptin profiles, blood pressure (BP), MetScore and MetS were assessed pre- and post-intervention. We performed comparisons between Non-SDB and SDB groups and between Normalized-SDB and Persistent-SDB subgroups.
Fifty participants completed the study. Pre-intervention, twenty youth had SDB (40%) with higher insulin concentrations and systolic BP than Non-SDB participants (p < 0.01), for a similar degree of obesity. Post-intervention, MetScore (p < 0.001) and MetS prevalence (p < 0.05) were decreased in both groups. Eleven participants (55%) normalized SDB along with a decrease in insulin concentrations and BP (p < 0.05). Triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations (p < 0.01) improved equally in the Normalized and Persistent-SDB subgroups.
SDB was associated with lower insulin sensitivity and higher BP but did not affect the lipid profile. A diet and exercise lifestyle intervention is effective in decreasing the CMR whether or not SDB was normalized in obese adolescents.

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