Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Are Pregnant Women Suffering From a Form of Sleep Apnea?

Israeli-US research: Pregnant women may suffer from sleep apnea

New research suggests that pregnant women may commonly suffer from gestational sleep apnea.

Researchers say that further investigation will determine therapy and criteria for the condition. - JR

Overweight adults aren’t the only ones to suffer from potentially dangerous obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); about a quarter of pregnant women have the condition, according to sleep-medicine researchers in Jerusalem and St. Louis.

Just as pregnant women may be at risk for gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension that develop while carrying their fetuses, they may also develop gestational OSA, in which one stops breathing for several seconds during sleep, the researchers said. The obese most commonly suffer from OSA, putting them at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Now, in an editorial in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, sleep researchers from Israel and the US recommend a new diagnosis, “Gestational Sleep Apnea” (GSA). This would allow health professionals to properly describe, diagnose and treat OSA in pregnant women.


“Currently there is a lack of uniform criteria to diagnose, treat and classify OSA in the pregnant population, which in turn complicates efforts to determine the risk factors for, and complications of, gestational sleep apnea,” said Prof. Yehuda Ginosar, director of the mother and child anesthesia unit at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem who is on the faculty of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine.

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