- Women’s risk for developing OSA increases as they transition through menopause. Women are three times more likely to have post-menopausal sleep apnea than pre-menopausal. Reasons for post-menopausal OSA include weight gain and unclear hormonal changes.
Prior to menopause many women may develop upper airway resistance syndrome, which can develop into sleep apnea after menopause.
- Women with a neck circumference greater than 16 inches.
- Women aged 55-70 years are 14% more likely to have severe OSA
- Obese women aged 50-70 are 31% more likely to have OSA
- Women are more likely to develop co-morbid conditions such as anxiety and depression than men.
- The risk for developing OSA among women with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome can be as high as 70%.
- Pregnancy can increase the risk of developing OSA. Untreated OSA in pregnant women can lead to complications during pregnancy including high blood pressure, enlarged heart, pulmonary blood clots, more frequent preeclampsia, neonatal intensive care unit admissions, and cesarean delivery.
If you believe that your sleep troubles may be due to sleep apnea rather than another sleep disorder, contact a sleep specialist and ask if a sleep study is right for you.