Systematic review on sleep disorders and obstetric outcomes: Scope of current knowledge

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American Journal of Perinatology


Objective To assess the current state of knowledge regarding sleep disorders and their relationship to obstetric outcomes. Study Design A systematic literature review of the previous two decades (1991 to 2010) was conducted. The exposure was sleep disorders during pregnancy, and the outcomes of interest were feto-infant morbidity and maternal complications. Results Sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep quantity/duration were identified as the most frequently examined sleep disorders among pregnant women. Although our review found that studies examining the impact of sleep disorders on feto-infant outcomes were lacking, previous research indicates that such disorders may enhance the risk of preterm birth. Additionally, the current body of evidence suggests that sleep disorders adversely impact maternal health, increasing the likelihood of preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Conclusion Existing research points to the potentially harmful effects of sleep disorders on obstetric outcomes. The limited research in this arena highlights the need for further studies regarding the nature and strength of this relationship. Given the multiple dimensions of sleep and pregnancy, multivariate research approaches that incorporate biological and psychosocial factors are warranted. Copyright © 2013 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

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