Subjects in a test group who received gastric banding surgery as opposed to losing weight naturally did not see an improvement in their sleep apnea, despite losing more weight than their naturally shedding counterparts.
Researchers struggle to find a relationship between weight loss and sleep apnea, although weight loss has helped in other cases of sleep disturbance.
Weight loss is often recommended as part of treatment for obese individuals suffering from sleep apnea, of whom it affects 42%-28% of men and 8%-38% of women. However, while patients with the gastric banding surgery lost 20.6% of initial body weight and the natural group only 2.9%, their sleep apnea improved only marginally, at about the same rate.
This means that sleep apnea is not curable by weight loss alone, but weight loss should be used as part of a complimentary treatment. The use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and breathing training are also commonly implemented.