Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sleep Apnea May Increase Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Research presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's 2011 conference earlier this week suggest that women with sleep apnea are at the highest risk of having an adverse outcome to a pregnancy. However, researchers noted that their data was not able to distinguish whether obstructive sleep apnea or obesity was the primary risk factor contributing to adverse outcomes, which were led by gestational diabetes and preterm birth.

Gestational diabetes has been independently associated with maternal obesity. Preterm birth has also been independently associated with preterm birth, neonatal delivery, and low birth weight. In the population considered for this study, 87% of the women who had obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy were also obese, making it a significant confounding factor.

Many women who do not normally suffer from obstructive sleep apnea may acquire it during pregnancy as a result of weight gain. It can become especially pronounced during the third trimester, when women's weight gain is at its greatest. Women who suspect they may suffer from sleep apnea prior to pregnancy are encouraged to be evaluated and receive sleep apnea treatment to lessen the potential impact of sleep apnea on their pregnancy.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 1:12 PM