Sleep researchers call for new diagnostic code to enable research and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in pregnant women.
A new diagnosis code is needed for pregnant women who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — the recurrent cessation or limitation of normal breathing during sleep – say Israeli and American researchers.
The sleep scientists explain that the term ‘‘gestational sleep apnea” (GSA) would allow health professionals to properly describe, diagnose and treat OSA in pregnant women, and would parallel other established transient diagnoses of pregnancy, like gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes mellitus.
“Currently there is a lack of uniform criteria to diagnose, treat and classify OSA in the pregnant population, which in turn complicates efforts to determine the risk factors for, and complications of, gestational sleep apnea,” said Dr. Yehuda Ginosar, director of the Mother and Child Anesthesia Unit at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center and professor at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine.
In an editorial in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, Ginosar and co-author Dr. Suzanne Karan say the new diagnosis is critical because the consequences of untreated OSA include but are not limited to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and heart disease.
Karan, a visiting researcher at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center, is an associate professor of anesthesiology and director of the Anesthesiology Respiratory Physiology Laboratory at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York.