Although the cause for the link between snoring and gestational diabetes in not well understood, Facco suggested that it could be due to weight gain and fluid retention, which could cause increased airway resistance.
In gestational diabetes, pregnant women who had not previously been diagnosed with diabetes develop high blood sugar levels. It is estimated to occur in about 4 percent of pregnant women, and those who develop it are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life, according to background information in the news release.
Gestational diabetes can cause problems for the baby, too. Some of the risks to the baby include: being large for gestational age, which may lead to delivery complications; low blood sugar levels; obesity later in life; and impaired sugar tolerance or metabolic syndrome later in life.
More study is needed to shed light on the association between snoring and gestational diabetes, which could lead to new interventions to treat pregnant women with sleep disorders.
"If snoring is bothering a woman who is pregnant, she should seek a consultation with a sleep specialist," Facco said.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has information on gestational diabetes.
-- Jennifer Thomas
SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, June 11, 2009
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