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Study shows link between sleep apnea and hospital maternal deaths
Date:5/2/2014

"Our study indicates that sleep apnea may also play a role, whether a woman is obese or not," said Dr. Louis, who holds a joint appointment in the USF College of Public Health's Department of Community and Family Health. "It's important for obstetricians and primary care practitioners to identify sleep apnea in younger women of reproductive age, convey its risk, and treat the condition before pregnancy."

The researchers drew upon a nationally representative sample of 55 million maternal-related hospital discharges from 1998 to 2009 women who were pregnant or gave birth while in the hospital. They identified those with sleep apnea diagnoses and examined the links between this sleep-disordered breathing and poor pregnancy health outcomes, including in-hospital deaths.

Among the retrospective study's findings:

  • Women with sleep apnea during pregnancy were more likely to experience serious medical conditions and pregnancy-related complications than women without sleep apnea diagnoses.

  • The strongest associations were with the following medical conditions: cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart), heart failure and pulmonary edema (fluid build-up in the lungs).

  • Among pregnancy-related complications, sleep apnea was associated with a greater likelihood of eclampsia and preeclampsia as well as gestational diabetes and gestational high blood pressure, even after controlling for obesity.

  • Even after adjusting for potentially life-threatening cardiovascular and metabolic conditions, women with sleep apnea were five times more likely to die before discharge from the hospital than their counterparts without sleep apnea.

  • The increase in the rate of sleep apnea among pregnancy-related discharges over the study period coincided with a rise in obesity rates.

  • With the exception of cesarean delivery, gestational hypertension and stillbirth, the likelihood of potentially life-thre
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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3303
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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