PURPOSE: Our aim was to assess the prevalence of obesity hypoventilation syndrome in an inner city population. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) has been recognized as a disease entity for many years. It is diagnosed by the presence of awake hypercapnea in an obese patient with no other obvious etiology for hypoventilation. Considerable morbidity and mortality has been associated with the syndrome; however it continues to be underdiagnosed and undertreated.
METHODS: We undertook a retrospective chart review study at Ben Taub General Hospital, a county hospital in Houston, Texas to examine the prevalence of OHS. Our study population included all patients who had pulmonary function tests and arterial blood gases performed in the past 2 years. OHS was defined as BMI>30, awake hypercapnia (pCO2>45), with no evidence for other hypoventilatory disorders.
RESULTS: From the population of 227 patients that fit the study entry criteria, 120 were found to be obese. Of the obese patients, 21 (17.5%) were diagnosed with OHS. These OHS patients’ records were reviewed to ensure that other causes of hypoventilation were not likely present. The majority of the OHS patients were African American females between the ages of 51 to 60 years.
CONCLUSION: 1. There is significant population of undiagnosed OHS in the population examined.2. There appears to be a female predominance in patients diagnosed with OHS.3. The prevalence of OHS nearly doubled (34%) when considering patients with BMIs>45.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Obesity hypoventilation syndrome is an unrecognized disorder in the outpatient population and if recognized and treated in a timely manner will likely to improve patient morbidity and mortality.
DISCLOSURE: Sivagini Ganesh, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information