does any veteran really believe that sleep apnea is caused by being overweight when so many soldiers are diagnosed before leaving active duty
As a veteran and military retiree, yes I do believe weight along with many other lifestyle risk factors, such as diabetes, diet etc., can contribute to sleep apnea. This said, sleep apnea may well occur in individuals who have none of these risk factors. For example, as a other wise healthy person, I had an ischemic stroke in March of last year only to find out after the fact that I had severe, complex sleep apnea which very well may have precipitated the stroke.
In any event, if you are made aware that you may have symptoms of sleep apnea, get a sleep study soonest so as to avoid the wake up call I endured. I hope this helps.
It can also something else biological. In my case, I have a tiny airway and when I developed seasonal allergies, I also developed sleep apnea.
I am not a veteran, however I can tell you that I am aware that I have had sleep issues / stopping breathing in my sleep from the time I was an underweight teenager, to now where I am considerably overweight. There are other risk factors, although for many the triggering factor, or indeed only factor may be weight. For some weight loss means apnea goes away. I have several colleagues that are within their proper BMI that have OSA as well. It’s not just a disorder for fat guys.
I’m not a vet as I never was active upon enlisting in the National Guard. But I’ll tell you that obesity can influence your susceptibility to apnea related issues. It doesn’t guarantee it either but it’s a factor in this.
In 2016, I was 300 pounds and began pursuing bariatric sleeve surgery after I failed my CPAP compliance initiated from a severe apnea rating on a sleep study in '15.
I lost 100 pounds after the sleeve, and I’m on a ResMed 10 ASV Auto currently. Between BPAP and ASV sleep studies, my 74 AHI halved to 37, both rank severe.