Sleep apnea affects fetal growth

  • Sci Rep

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during pregnancy can affect fetal growth and fetal outcomes.

Why this matters

  • OSA has been associated with obesity and morbidity.
  • The prevalence of obesity and OSA is rising in pregnant women and is associated with gestational diabetes mellitus and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
  • Large for gestational age (LGA) may predispose offspring to abnormal growth later in life.

Key results

  • 17% had mild OSA.
  • Mean BMI was higher in women with mild OSA.
  • Mean birth weight percentile of infants was higher in women with mild OSA compared with control participants (72% vs 57%; P<.01>
  • The proportion of LGA infants was higher in the mild OSA group (28% vs 8%; P=.04).
  • The mean 1-minute Apgar score was lower in the mild OSA group (P<.01>

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study of low-risk normal-weight pregnant women who were recruited between 25 and 27 weeks of gestation (n=155).
  • Questionnaires were used to assess snoring before and during pregnancy.
  • Participants had a sleep study between 33 and 36 weeks of gestation.
  • Apgar scores and neonatal measurements were analyzed.
  • Funding: Israel Science Foundation.

Limitations

  • An ambulatory sleep study was used as opposed to polysomnography.
  • Lack of information on paternal BMI.

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