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Kids' snoring linked to problem behaviour
[Posted: Mon 13/08/2012 by Gillian Tsoi www.irishhealth.com]
Young children who persistently snore loudly may be more likely to display problem behaviours, according to a new study in the US.
Researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio wanted to examine the relationship between the persistence of snoring and behaviour problems in preschool children.
Problematic behaviours include hyperactivity, depression and inattention.
The researchers focused on 249 children, and asked their mother's about their kids' sleep and behaviours. The study showed that children who snored loudly at least twice a week at the age of two and three years had more behaviour problems than children who either did not snore or who snored at two or three years, but not at both ages.
"A lot of kids snore every so often, and cartoons make snoring look cute or funny. But loud snoring that lasts for months is not normal, and anything that puts young kids at that much risk for behavioural problems is neither cute nor funny," said Dean Beebe, director of the neuropsychology program at the Cincinnati Medical Center, who led the study.
"That kind of snoring can be a sign of real breathing problems at night that are treatable. I encourage parents to talk to their child's doctor about loud snoring, especially if it happens a lot and persists over time."
Breastfeeding infants, especially over longer periods of time, seemed to protect children against persistent snoring, even after taking into account other factors, such as how well off the family was.
"The strongest predictors of persistent snoring were lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breastfeeding," said Beebe.
"This would suggest that doctors routinely screen for and track snoring, especially in children from poorer families, and refer loudly-snoring children for follow-up care. Failing to screen, or taking a 'wait and see' approach on snoring, could make preschool behaviour problems worse. The findings also support the encouragement and facilitation of infant breastfeeding."
The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics.
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