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Snoring may trouble preschoolers

Pre-school children who snore have more symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as attention and language problems

Snoring may trouble preschoolers

Pre-school children who snore have more symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as attention and language problems, than their age-matched counterparts who do not snore. Snoring is a common symptom of sleep-disordered breathing, which is caused by obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. Knowing the mental health and developmental impact of sleep-disordered breathing in preschool-aged children helps paediatricians recognise the underlying sleep problem. Researchers from United Kingdom studied 89 children aged between 3 and 6 years (including 43 snorers and 46 non-snorers) to find out the emotional and behavioural problems and sleep and cognitive performance in snoring and non-snoring pre-schoolers. The children were assessed for intelligence, language skills, concentration, sensori-motor functions, memory and learning skills. Overall, 22 percent of children who snored were found to have mood disorder symptoms severe enough to warrant clinical evaluation compared to 11 percent of children who did not snore. Brain function tests also showed some significant differences between the snorers and non-snorers, including decreased attention and language skills among children who snored. The children who snored were also more likely to have other sleep problems, such as nightmares, talking in their sleep, or difficulties going to bed. Surprisingly, behavioural problems, such as aggressive and hyperactive behaviour, were no more frequent among preschool-aged children who snored. The researchers concluded snoring as a possible risk factor for mood problems and cognitive impairment in children.
The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
April 2009
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