Adverse infant outcomes among women with sleep apnea or insomnia during pregnancy: A retrospective cohort study

Sleep Health. 2023 Feb;9(1):26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2022.09.012. Epub 2022 Nov 10.


Objective: To evaluate whether sleep apnea or insomnia among pregnant people is associated with increased risk for adverse infant outcomes.

Design: Retrospective cohort study SETTING: California PARTICIPANTS: The sample included singleton live births. Sleep apnea and insomnia were defined based on ICD-9 and -10 codes. A referent group was selected using exact propensity score matching on maternal characteristics, obstetric factors, and infant factors among individuals without a sleep disorder.

Measurements: Adverse infant outcomes were obtained from birth certificate, hospital discharge, and death records (eg, Apgar scores, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay, infant death, long birth stay, etc.). Logistic regression was used to calculate odds of an adverse infant outcome by sleep disorder type.

Results: Propensity-score matched controls were identified for 69.9% of the 3371 sleep apnea cases and 68.8% of the 3213 insomnia cases. Compared to the propensity-matched referent group, individuals with a diagnosis of sleep apnea (n = 2357) had infants who were more likely to have any adverse outcome, low 1-min Apgar scores, NICU stay, and an emergency room visit in the first year of life. Infants born to mothers with a diagnosis of insomnia (n = 2212) were at increased risk of few negative outcomes relative to the propensity matched referent group, with the exception of an emergency room visit.

Conclusions: In unadjusted analyses, infants born to individuals with a diagnosis of sleep apnea or insomnia were at increased risk of several adverse outcomes. These were attenuated when using propensity score matching, suggesting these associations were driven by other comorbidities.

Keywords: Infant outcomes; Insomnia; Pregnancy; Sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes* / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / epidemiology