An increasing body of evidence demonstrates an association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and adverse perioperative outcomes. However, large-scale data on open colectomies are lacking. Moreover, the interaction of obesity with OSA is unknown. This study examines the impact of OSA, obesity, or a combination of both, on perioperative complications in patients undergoing open colectomy. We hypothesized that while both obesity and OSA individually increase the likelihood for perioperative complications, the overlap of the 2 conditions is associated with the highest risk.
Patients undergoing open colectomies were identified using the national Premier Healthcare claims-based Database (2006–2016; n = 340,047). Multilevel multivariable models and relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) analysis quantified the impact of OSA, obesity, or both on length and cost of hospitalization, respiratory and cardiac complications, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and inhospital mortality.
Nine thousand twenty-eight (2.7%) patients had both OSA and obesity diagnoses; 10,137 (3.0%) had OSA without obesity; and 33,692 (9.9%) had obesity without OSA. Although there were overlapping confidence intervals in the binary outcomes, the risk increase was found highest for OSA with obesity, intermediate for obesity without OSA, and lowest for OSA without obesity. The strongest effects were seen for respiratory complications: odds ratio (OR), 2.41 (2.28–2.56), OR, 1.40 (1.31–1.49), and OR, 1.50 (1.45–1.56), for OSA with obesity, OSA without obesity, and obesity without OSA, respectively (all P < .0001). RERI analysis revealed a supraadditive effect of 0.51 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34–0.68) for respiratory complications, 0.11 (−0.04 to 0.26) for cardiac complications, 0.30 (0.14–0.45) for ICU utilization, 0.34 (0.21–0.47) for mechanical ventilation utilization, and 0.26 (0.15–0.37) for mortality in patients with both OSA and obesity, compared to the sum of the conditions’ individual risks. Inhospital mortality was significantly higher in patients with both OSA and obesity (OR [CI], 1.21 [1.07–1.38]) but not in the other groups.
Both OSA and obesity are individually associated with adverse perioperative outcomes, with a supraadditive effect if both OSA and obesity are present. Interventions, screening, and perioperative precautionary measures should be tailored to the respective risk profile. Moreover, both conditions appear to be underreported compared to the general population, highlighting the need for stringent perioperative screening, documentation, and reporting.
- Question: What are the differential impacts of obesity, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or a combination of both on perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing open colectomy?
- Findings: In this study, we found an incremental effect of OSA alone, obesity alone, or a combination of both conditions on the risk of perioperative complications, and length and cost of hospitalization in patients undergoing open colectomy.
- Meaning: Obesity and OSA are highly prevalent and likely underreported comorbidities in patients undergoing colectomy; this study helps to better tailor interventions, screening, and precautionary measures to the individual risk.