Washington: Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are nearly seven times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than other pregnant women, a new study suggests.
Gestational diabetes causes glucose levels in the bloodstream to rise above normal levels. This form of diabetes occurs during pregnancy, typically in the second trimester.
Between four and eight of every 100 pregnant women in the United States develop gestational diabetes.
The new study found a link between gestational diabetes and sleep apnea, which causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep.
If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
"It is common for pregnant women to experience sleep disruptions, but the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea increases substantially in women who have gestational diabetes," Sirimon Reutrakul, MD, who conducted the research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said.
"Nearly 75 percent of the participants in our study who had gestational diabetes also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea ," the researcher said.
The study is set to be published in The Endocrine Society`s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).