A study from the University of Michigan concluded that women who begin snoring during a pregnancy may be at higher risk of conditions like hypertension and preeclampsia. If medical professionals do not properly respond to these pregnancy complications, mothers and newborns can suffer serious injuries.
This new research surveyed 1,700 expectant mothers. One in four of the mothers began to snore at least three or four nights per week at some point during their pregnancies. Those mothers were at twice as much risk of high blood pressure relative to the other participants.
High blood pressure or hypertension can cause conditions like preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can result in a number of dangerous complications for expectant
mothers, including seizures or strokes culminating in brain damage or even death. Infants are also at risk of preeclampsia-related problems, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and sensory disorders.
Based on this research, the study concluded that snoring actually contributes to high blood pressure. One of the authors wrote that it might be possible to treat many blood pressure-related complications by targeting the snoring with assistive breathing machines. The same researchers are currently beginning another study to look at whether and to what extent breathing machines help decrease high blood pressure.
Given the close association between maternal high blood pressure and dangerous pregnancy complications, this research is a welcome step towards fewer birth injuries.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Starting to snore during pregnancy could indicate risk for high blood pressure, U-M study says,” Sept. 25, 2012