DARIEN, IL Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, suggests a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).
Results show that women with severe sleep apnea had the highest incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes. This increased prevalence was principally driven by a higher incidence of gestational diabetes and early preterm birth.
The authors noted that sleep apnea has been associated with heart disease, metabolic syndrome and mortality in non-pregnant populations. However, few studies have examined the relationship between sleep apnea in pregnancy and adverse obstetrical outcomes.
"Our findings suggest that moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, particularly gestational diabetes and preterm birth," said principal investigator Dr. Francesca L. Facco, assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University in Chicago. "However, it is unclear if sleep-disordered breathing is a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes independent of obesity."
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that involves partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. The breathing pauses that result can produce abrupt reductions in blood oxygen saturation and reduce blood flow to the brain. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, and they often experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
Facco and colleagues searched a medical records database and identified 150 w
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American Academy of Sleep Medicine