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What Causes Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome?

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a breathing disorder that affects some obese people. Why these people develop OHS isn't fully known. Researchers think that several factors may work together to cause OHS. These factors include:

  • A respiratory (RES-pih-rah-tor-e) system that has to work harder than normal and perhaps differently because of excess body weight. (The respiratory system is a group of organs and tissues, including the lungs, that helps you breathe.)
  • A slow response by the body to fix the problem of too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen in the blood.
  • The presence of sleep apnea, usually obstructive sleep apnea.
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October 7, 2014