Risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy

Grace W. Pien, Allan I. Pack, Nicholas Jackson, Greg Maislin, George A. Macones, Richard J. Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Rationale Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) are common among pregnant women, and several studies link SDB symptoms with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. However, few prospective studies objectively measuring SDB during pregnancy have been performed. Objectives We performed a prospective cohort study examining risk factors for third trimester SDB in pregnant women. Measurements and methods 105 pregnant women from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania obstetrics practices completed first and third trimester overnight polysomnography studies. We examined whether the number of SDB events per hour of sleep increased during pregnancy. We performed unadjusted and multivariable logistic regression analyses to estimate the effects of usual and pregnancy-specific characteristics on development of third trimester obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). In secondary analyses, we examined the relationship between objectively measured SDB, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and other adverse maternal-fetal outcomes. Main results Mean Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index increased from 2.07 (SD 3.01) events/h at baseline (first trimester) to 3.74 (SD 5.97) in the third trimester (p=0.009). 10.5% of women had OSA in the first trimester. By the third trimester, 26.7% of women had OSA. In multivariable analyses, first trimester body mass index (BMI) and maternal age were significantly associated with third trimester OSA. Conclusions Third trimester OSA is common. Risk factors for third trimester OSA among women without baseline SDB include higher baseline BMI and maternal age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


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