Prevalence of habitual snoring and sleep-disordered breathing in preschool-aged children in an Italian community

J Pediatr. 2003 Apr;142(4):377-82. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2003.118.


Objective: To measure the prevalence of habitual snoring and sleep-disordered breathing in preschool-aged children.

Study design: Cross-sectional survey with parental report and overnight ambulatory monitoring of children 3 to 6 years of age in 8 kindergartens (n = 604). Parents reported the child's information through an interviewer-based questionnaire or by a brief telephone interview. Snoring, oxygen saturation, body position, and heart rate were recorded for 1 night at home.

Results: Data were obtained on 98.5% of 604 children (447 questionnaires, 74%; 148 telephone interviews, 24.5%); groups were similar for sex and age. Two hundred sixty-five children had ambulatory monitoring at home. Habitual snoring (always and often) was reported in 34.5% and breathing cessation in 18.6%. Habitual snoring was associated with parental report of daytime symptoms (P =.001) and daytime somnolence (P =.032). Pathologic snoring was present in 12% of children (95% CI, 7.9-16.1). On multivariate analysis, parental report of habitual snoring was the strongest determinant of pathologic snoring (OR, 12.23; 95% CI, 3.56-41.94). Oxygen desaturation index > or =5 per hour was found in 13% of children (95% CI, 8.7-17.3).

Conclusions: Parental report of habitual snoring is very common. Children with habitual snoring are more likely to have objectively measured snoring and daytime morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Habits*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Oximetry
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology
  • Snoring / complications
  • Snoring / epidemiology*