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Late Bappi Lahiri (Image source: Instagram)
Late Bappi Lahiri (Image source: Instagram)

Obstructive sleep apnea: The condition that proved fatal for late Bappi Lahiri

By S. Mangala Ramya | Updated: Feb 17, 2022 12:59 IST

New Delhi [India], February 17 (ANI): Legendary singer-composer Bappi Lahiri departed the mortal world on Tuesday night, leaving behind a rich legacy of his soulful and unforgettable compositions and songs. He died due to a condition called Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He was 69 when he breathed his last.
Dr Deepak Namjoshi, Physician, Cardiologist and Pulmonologist, who was treating the late Bappi Lahiri, said that the music composer was suffering from OSA for more than a year.
In an official statement, the doctor said, "Bappi Lahiri was suffering from OSA- Obstructive Sleep Apnea and recurrent chest infection. He was hospitalised in Criticare Hospital, Juhu for 29 days with this. He recovered well and was discharged home on 15 February. However, after a day at home, his health again deteriorated and he was brought back to Criticare hospital Juhu in a critical state and succumbed to his illness at about 11.45 pm."
The statement continued, "He suffered from COVID-19 infection last year. He had OSA since the last one year. He was admitted on multiple occasions in Criticare Hospital under treatment and recovered on all occasions."
This news jolted people as they had always seen the singer-composer, fondly called Bappi Da, as a cheerful and positive person who would often make appearances on singing reality shows. He was even active on his Instagram, frequently posting throwback pictures.

But what exactly is this Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA that turned fatal for our beloved Bappi Da?
OSA is a disorder that happens when something blocks the upper airway while sleeping. As a result, the diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to open the airway and pull air into the lungs. At times, breathing becomes very shallow, and at other times, it even stops briefly. OSA also arises due to being overweight and having fat deposition around the neck.
Dr Arunesh Kumar, HOD and Senior Consultant - Pulmonology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, said that people took this condition very lightly and never understood its seriousness.
He stated, "People often take this condition lightly, thinking it's just snoring and it cannot be fatal. One should keep in mind that it's not just a sleeping or snoring issue. Obstructive sleep apnea is connected with diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. In India, the awareness towards sleep apnea is very low."
Elaborating on its connection with high blood pressure, he said, "If the patient has high blood pressure and sleep apnea, then the high blood pressure cannot be controlled in that patient if the sleep apnea isn't treated. If the sleep apnea remains untreated for a long time, then the patient goes into ventilatory failure."
The main symptoms of this condition include breathlessness, daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, headache in the morning and decreased libido. Other symptoms include waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat and lack of concentration.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, shed some light on the conditions that can lead to OSA. He said, "Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease are some of the conditions that may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea."
When asked if it can affect any demographic irrespective of age, he said, "Yes. If a person is overweight, then the chances of sleep apnea increase."
But just like there is light at the end of every dark tunnel, there is a ray of hope here too. OSA is a treatable condition.
Dr Arunesh Kumar shed some light on how it can be treated and whether the condition itself can be fatal. He said, "This condition is completely treatable. It begins with weight loss and using a CPAP machine. Just OSA cannot cause death, there are other conditions too associated with sleep apnea like heart failure and that can contribute to death."
Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can also help in keeping OSA at bay.
Although Bappi Da's loss was a heartbreaking one, it is important to learn lessons from his life. A balanced and active lifestyle is our only way to ensure not just a good life, but also a healthy one. (ANI)