Obstructive sleep apnea (#OSA) is common in pregnancy and associated with maternal and fetal complications. Early detection of OSA may have important implications for maternal-fetal well-being. A screening tool combining several methods of assessment may better predict OSA among pregnant women compared with tools that rely solely on self-reported information..
Participants’ mean age was 27.4 ± 7.0 years. The prevalence of OSA during the first and third trimester was 10.7% and 24.1%, respectively. The final model predicting OSA risk consisted of body mass index, age, and presence of tongue enlargement. During the first trimester, the AUC was 0.86 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.96). During the third trimester, the AUC was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.77–0.96). When the first-trimester data were used to predict third-trimester OSA risk, the AUC was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.77–0.97). This model had high sensitivity and specificity when used during both trimesters. The negative posttest probabilities (probability of OSA given a negative test result) ranged from 0.03 to 0.07.
Conclusions: A new model consisting of body mass index, age, and presence of tongue enlargement provided accurate screening of OSA in pregnant women, particularly African-Americans. This tool can be easily and rapidly administered in busy clinical practices without depending on patients’ awareness of experiencing apnea symptoms.