In a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers determined common factors for sleep apnea and pregnant women. The study, which appeared in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, not only identified risk factors but is helping researchers understand how to easily and inexpensively identify those with this increased risk and help them find more testing and treatment which could lead to increased positive pregnancy outcomes.
Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which the airways in your throat become blocked while sleeping—either partially or fully—limiting the amount of air that reaches your lungs. This can cause you to stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time and can happen dozens of times a night.
The condition is not only a nuisance that disturbs your sleep and causes a host of symptoms that affect your wakefulness, but it can increase your risk for other medical conditions as well. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment if you or someone you love may suffer from the condition. This is especially true if you’re pregnant, as maintaining your health is paramount for the health of not only you but your baby as well.
There are many risk factors for sleep apnea, but according to the study, there are three main factors for pregnant women that increase their risk. These include:
- Frequent snoring three or more times a week
- Being older during your pregnancy
- Being overweight or obese according to body mass index (BMI)
In the study, researchers found that of 3,264 women in early pregnancy 3.6 percent of them had sleep apnea and 8.3 percent out of 2,512 women in mid-pregnancy had the condition. The researchers used the three risk factors to develop a tool to calculate the potential risk for an individual patient so that obstetric doctors can refer patients to proper sleep apnea treatment.
At Warr Dental, we take sleep apnea seriously for all of our patents but especially when it comes to pregnancy. An earlier study of first-time pregnancies by the NIH found that pregnant women with sleep apnea have a higher risk for hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes, making it even more important to seek professional treatment. At our office, we provide multiple treatment options to help with the different severities of the condition, from mild to severe sleep apnea.
Our dentist Dr. Warr has been trained in sleep medicine from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and works with sleep specialists in Salt Lake City. He does this so he can create an individualized treatment plan for your unique needs so that you’re getting the best quality care possible.
If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about the risks of sleep apnea, please call our office today at 801-216-3713 to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve those who live in and near Salt Lake City, Utah.