Race and Sleep Health During Pregnancy in the nuMom2be Cohort

2020 Focused Projects Grant for Junior Investigators

Maristella Lucchini, PhD
Columbia University

Key Project Outcomes

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) during pregnancy is associated with poor maternal outcomes. Disparities in risk, recognition and management of SDB among racial/ethnic minoritized communities have been recognized, but pregnant people were not included in previous studies. In addition, whether SDB plays a role in perinatal health outcomes disparities independently of obesity is unclear.

This study prospectively investigated the association between maternal sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and race and ethnicity in nulliparous pregnant people and investigated the potential moderating role of body mass index (BMI).

Our findings indicate that 1) being overweight or having obesity is significantly associated with a higher apnea-hypopnea index during pregnancy, 2) non-Hispanic Black pregnant people are more likely to be overweight and have obesity and present higher SDB prevalence and severity in early pregnancy compared to non-Hispanic White pregnant people and could benefit from weight management interventions, 3) despite having BMI profiles similar to non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic women don’t present higher risk for SDB at any point during pregnancy, 4) despite having lower BMI, Asian pregnant people present a higher risk profile for SDB in the second half of pregnancy.



Racial/ethnic disparities in sleep disorder breathing during pregnancy