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Who Is at Risk for Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome?

People who are obese are at risk for obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS). "Obesity" refers to having too much body fat. People who are obese have body weight that's greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height.

The most useful measure of obesity is body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated from your height and weight. In adults, a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

You can use the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI's) online BMI calculator to figure out your BMI, or your doctor can help you.

If you are obese, you're at greater risk for OHS if your BMI is 40 or higher. You're also at greater risk if most of your excess weight is around your waist, rather than at your hips. This is referred to as "abdominal obesity."

OHS tends to occur more often in men than women. At the time of diagnosis, most people are 40 to 60 years old.

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Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.

NHLBI Research Featured in HBO Documentary Series on Obesity

Hear people talk about their challenges and successes reaching and maintaining a healthy weight on the HBO Documentary Films series, “The Weight of the Nation,” which premiered in May 2012.

The film series spotlights the science behind obesity and how it affects the health of the nation. Watch the series to learn how citizens, groups, and policymakers are working to make a difference in their communities. The films stream free on the HBO Web site.

To learn more about the film series and related public awareness campaign, including how to host a local screening go to

January 27, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.