Even though sleep apnea is almost twice as common in men as it is in women, a new study has shown that pregnant women are more likely to suffer from complications and other illnesses as a result of having sleep apnea.
Recent research from the University of Pittsburg shows that pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing complications such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. In this study, 3,000 women were analyzed via home sleep tests twice during their pregnancies to check for any apneas while sleeping. An apena is characterized as a pause in breathing due to an obstruction during sleep, and they can last as long as 60 seconds before the person wakes up.
Those women who tested positive for sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to have preeclampsia during their pregnancies, which is a condition that causes drastically high blood pressure. Additionally, these women were three and a half times more likely to develop gestational diabetes, which can put the health of the fetus in jeopardy.
Researchers found that between six and 15 weeks gestation, 3.6% of women developed sleep apnea, and between 21 and 33 weeks gestation, 8.3% had apnea. Of the 3,000 women surveyed, at the end of their pregnancies, 6% had preeclampsia, 13% had hypertension, and 4% had advanced gestational diabetes. Not to mention that women who developed sleep apnea in the third trimester were 95% more likely to have preeclampsia, 73% more likely to have hypertension disorders, and 3% more likely to have diabetes.
However, just because someone suffers from sleep apnea — pregnant or not — doesn’t mean that their risk of developing hypertension or diabetes is any lower.
Lead study author Dr. Francesca Facco explains why to Fox News, “Although we found an association with sleep-disordered breathing preceding the development of both pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes, we cannot conclude that universal screening for, and treatment of sleep disordered breathing in pregnancy would reduce the risks of these adverse outcomes.”
The typical treatment options for sleep apnea include sleeping with a CPAP or Bipap machine and attaching a CPAP mask to your face in order to make sleeping as comfortable as possible.
If you are looking for treatment options for your sleep apnea, from nasal pillows to CPAP masks, 1800 CPAP is the one-stop shop for all your sleep apnea needs.