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Sleep apnoea linked to bed-wetting in kids

According to a new study children who snore may be more likely than their peers to wet the bed. Snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, a sleep disorder that causes people to temporarily stop breathing many times a night and appears to also promote bed-wetting in children.

Sleep apnoea linked to bed-wetting in kids

According to a new study, children who snore maybe more likely than their peers to wet the bed. Snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, a sleep disorder that causes people to temporarily stop breathing many times a night and appears to also promote bed-wetting in children.Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, studied 160 children aged 4 to 17 years who were referred to a sleep-disorders clinic for suspected breathing problems at night; 66 children (41 percent) were also bed-wetters. Breathing assessments were conducted while the children slept at the clinic. It showed that 47 percent of those who experienced more than one breathing pause per hour of sleep had a bed-wetting problem, compared with 27 percent of those who had no or just one breathing disturbance per hour. Previous sleep research has indicated that one breathing disturbance per hour is the 'upper limit of normal' in children. The findings show that children with sleep apnoea are at a greater risk for nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting) than children without sleep apnoea.About 10 percent of children snore and 10 percent of those who snore have sleep apnoea. Bed-wetting is common among preschool children and is not considered as a matter of concern. By school-age, it becomes much less prevalent, with about five percent of 7 year olds still repeatedly wetting the bed. Most children 'outgrow' the problem without treatment. The reasons for chronic bed-wetting in school-age children are not fully clear.
According to the researchers, children with sleep apnoea may wet the bed because they do not get restful sleep and therefore have a decreased arousal response that prevents them from awakening when their bladders are full. The other possibilities are that the disordered breathing puts excess pressure on the bladder or perhaps even leads to increased urine production.Dealing with the sleep apnoea might also help remedy bed-wetting. Treatments include surgery to remove enlarged tonsils and adenoids as well as wearing a pressurized mask at night that keeps the throat from closing off and obstructing breathing.

The Journal of Pediatrics, July 2003; Vol. 142
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