Study: 6-Minute Walk Test & Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a frequent obstruction in the upper airway in people. This causes a temporary pause in breathing during sleep. Not treating OSA can cause many life-threatening conditions.  This is because these pauses reduce the required amount of oxygen needed by the body for each cell in the body. This means that every cell is deprived of its required fuel for health!

OSA can cause reduced capacity for any; physical activity, and this can result in obesity as well as other bad medical conditions.  So it’s important to determine if one has OSA as early as possible.

A new study, the 6-minute walk test showed that this test could be a predicter of OSA.  This test is frequently used by doctors to assess risks for cardiovascular disease. The distance that a patient can walk in 6 minutes indicates the patient’s oxygen consumption. If a patient were to perform badly on the walk test, it could indicate the possibility of developing OSA or of the presence of OSA.

The study showed that those with more severe OSA don’t do as well on these 6-minute walk tests.  47 OSA patients were studied for a year. Results indicated a relationship between the patient’s ability to complete the 6-minute walk test and the severity of the patient’s OSA.

While this 6-minute test doesn’t substitute for a certified sleep test to diagnose OSA, the researchers felt that the 6-minute walk test could be used to indicate the need for a certified sleep test.  And OSA is easily diagnosed with a sleep test done in your own home.  Remember, snoring/OSA are treatable.  And they MUST be treated to prolong your life.  Make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your questions and see the different treatment options that are available.  Call our office at 208-667-4551.