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Maternal Sleep Disorders Increase Risk of Preterm Birth

Odds of preterm birth higher among women with insomnia or sleep apnea during pregnancy

couple in bed

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia and sleep apnea during pregnancy are associated with significantly increased risk of preterm birth, according to a study published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jennifer N. Felder, Ph.D., from University of California San Francisco, and colleagues identified women with singleton neonates liveborn (between 2007 and 2012) between 20 and 44 weeks of gestation without chromosomal abnormalities or major structural birth defects and without mental illness during pregnancy. Propensity score matching (1:1) was used to identify a referent population.

In total, 2,265 women were diagnosed with a sleep disorder. The researchers found that the prevalence of preterm birth was higher among women with a recorded sleep disorder diagnosis (10.9 versus 14.5 percent). The odds ratios for preterm birth were 1.3 (P = 0.023; 14.1 percent) for insomnia and 1.5 (P < 0.001; 15.5 percent) for sleep apnea, compared to the referent group. However, odds of preterm birth were not significantly increased for sleep-related movement disorders or other sleep disorders.

"Considering the high prevalence of sleep disorders during pregnancy and availability of evidence-based nonpharmacologic interventions, current findings suggest that screening for severe presentations would be prudent," the authors write.

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