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Published Online:https://doi.org/10.3928/00485713-20191107-01

Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is often undiagnosed and undertreated in women, particularly in women who are pregnant, as the physiologic changes of pregnancy overlap with symptoms of OSA and sleep-disordered breathing, including excessive sleepiness, tiredness, headaches, and gastroesophageal reflux. Pregnant women with sleep apnea have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes, as well as having a higher chance of premature birth. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure can effectively reduce blood pressure within a single night, generally by reducing circulating stress hormone levels. Women who have had prior pregnancies with complications should be evaluated for OSA, preferably prior to or in early subsequent pregnancies to reduce maternal-fetal complications. [Psychiatr Ann. 2019;49(12):524–528.]

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