Clinical Investigation

Obstructive sleep apnea in pregnancy and accompanying diseases

  • Figen Kır Şahin
  • Gülengül Köken
  • Emine Coşar
  • Filiz Saylan
  • Fatma Fidan
  • Mehmet Yılmazer
  • Mehmet Ünlü

Turk J Obstet Gynecol 2008;5(1):22-27


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) chracterized by snoring, witnessed apnea and sleepiness in daytime. Snoring is frequent in pregnant women than non pregnancies. To our knowledge there is only one study about the relationship between pregnancy and OSAS in our country. So we decided to investigate the frequency of OSAS symptoms, habitual snoring, risk factors and systemic diseases in pregnant women.


Fifty-four women with habitual snoring were suggested to take polysomnography. Thirty-four of them accepted to take polysomnography in Sleep Laboratury of the Pulmonary Clinics.


Mean age of the pregnancies were 27.4±5.3 (min17-max55), 103 (25.8) of them had snoring sometimes, 54 (13.4%) had habitual snoring. Age, neck circumference, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly higher in snoring pregnant women. Frequency of habitual snoring was significantly higher in third trimester than first and second trimester. Systemic diseases accompanying pregnancy with habitual snoring were preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and cardiac diseases. These were higher in snoring pregnant women. Habitual snoring increased the risk of diabetes 5 times, preeclamsia 9 times, cardiovascular disease 12 times in our study. Four patients (11.8%) of 34 women those were made polysomnography, had apnea-hypoapnea index ≥5 and evaluated as OSAS.


OSAS symptoms were higher in pregnant women. OSAS is related with pregnancy associated systemic diseases so all pregnant women should be evaluated for OSAS symptoms and should be made polysomnography if necessary

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, pregnancy, snoring, systemic disease