Is Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome A Postmenopausal Disorder?

Ahmed S. BaHammam1, 2, *, Aljohara S. Almeneessier1, 2, 3
1 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, The University Sleep Disorders Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Prince Naif Health Research Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 BaHammam and Almeneessier

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Prince Naif Health Research Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966114679179; Fax: +966114679495; E-mail:


Previous studies have assessed the role of gender and menopause in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is well known that menopause is a major risk factor for OSA. However, analogous studies on obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS) are limited. Recent studies have suggested that OHS is more prevalent in postmenopausal women. Moreover, women with OHS seem to have excess comorbidities, including hypothyroidism, hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, and diabetes mellitus, compared to men. In the present perspective, we discuss recent data on the prevalence and comorbidities associated with OHS in women, as well as the use of noninvasive ventilation in women with OHS, and try to answer the question, “Is OHS a disorder of postmenopausal women?”

Keywords: hHpercapnia, Obstructive sleep apnea, Hypoxia, Progesterone, Sleep, OHS.