Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated with Newly Diagnosed Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Bilgay Izci Balserak, Grace W. Pien, Bharati Prasad, Dimitrios Mastrogiannis, Chang Park, Laurie T. Quinn, James Herdegen, David W. Carley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rationale: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). GDM is a significant cause of maternal and infant morbidities. Assessing these risk factors concurrently may facilitate both the identification of women at GDM risk and the initiation of GDM prevention strategies. Objectives: To investigate whether SDB events, including SDB in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and other sleep parameters, are associated with increased risk of GDM and to evaluate the performance of the models investigating associations between breathing and sleep parameters and GDM risk. Methods: In this case-control study, 46 women with newly diagnosed GDM and 46 healthy control subjects, who were individually matched for age, gestational age, body mass index, race, and parity, completed overnight polysomnographic studies and sleep questionnaires after being screened forGDMduring the late-second to mid-third trimesters. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to identify models investigating associations between risk factors and GDMrisk. The Bayesian information criterion (BIC) was employed to compare models; the model with the lowest BIC is preferred. Results: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA; defined as an apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] .5 events/h) was present in 22% of subjects with GDM and 9% of control subjects (P,0.001). Women with OSA had a higher GDM risk (odds ratio [OR], 4.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-21.04). In individual models, GDM risk was also significantly higher among women with higher overall AHI (events/h OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.01-3.27), higher AHI in REM (events/h OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.02-4.31), higher oxygen desaturation index greater than or equal to 4% (ODI4; events/h OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.03-4.73), and higher Sleep Apnea Symptom Score (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.11-6.69). The percentage of non-REM sleep was significantly associated with decreased risk of GDM (percentage of non-REM sleep OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.78-0.99). The BIC supports the conclusion that there is a strong association between AHI in REM and GDM risk compared with the other significant models. Conclusions: SDB events, including REM-related OSA, are linked to increased GDM risk. GDM risk is also influenced by intercorrelated sleep variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-761
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Gestational sleep apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Rapid eye movement-related sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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