Children Who Snore Are More Likely to Develop Behavior-Related Problems Later in Life
06 Mar, 2012 - 07:00am
A recently-published study reports that children between the ages of six months to approximately six years who experience “sleep disordered breathing” the likes of sleep apnea, mouth breathing, or snoring, are more likely to develop behavior-related problems as they mature.
Researchers from the Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York say that the link between the two are strong, and warn that the socio-emotional and behavioral costs are cause for concern.
Dr. Karen Bonuck, the study’s lead author, reports that of the 11,000 children that were included, a significant number were found to have a 60% greater probability of developing and being diagnosed with any number of behavioral problems by the age of seven.
Those who exhibited the most aggravated and prolonged symptoms were the ones found most probable to develop social and conduct-related issues, as well as have a case of hyperactivity. However, Dr. Bonuck adds that even the children who ceased to exhibit any of the “sleep disordered breathing” by the time they reached a year and a half were still at an elevated liability to develop the same problems by the time they reached seven.
In addition, among the children that were studied, approximately 32-65% of those who exhibited either sleep apnea, mouth breathing, or snoring not only developed the previously-mentioned behavioral issues, but likewise were found to have cases of depression and anxiety.
However, Dr. Bonuck is quick to assure parents that there is no cause for excessive concern or alarm. While about 10% of children in the age group that the researchers studied snore, and with 2-4% of them having sleep apnea (data gathered by the American Academy of Otolaryngology), the study, she says, simply suggests that both health care providers and parents “should be paying closer attention” to sleep disordered breathing issues in their children even within the first year.