The goal of the present investigation was to describe the prevalence of and clinical factors associated with sleep-disordered breathing in children and adolescents. Children and adolescents (3,680 in all, 1-18 years old) attending schools in central Greece were surveyed by questionnaires distributed to parents. We found a similar prevalence of habitual snoring (present every night) among three different age groups (5.3%, 4%, and 3.8% in 1-6-, 7-12-, and 13-18-year-old subjects, P = NS). Several children with an adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy were snoring every night (6.1%), whereas sleepiness at school was more common in habitual snorers than in nonhabitual snorers (4.6 vs. 2%, P = 0.03). Seventy randomly selected subjects among 307 snorers without adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy underwent polysomnography. The estimated frequency of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea among children without adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy was 4.3%. Factors associated with snoring were: male gender (odds ratio 1.5 (confidence interval, 1.2-1.9)); chronic rhinitis (2.1 (1.6-2.7)); snoring in father (1.5 (1.2-1.9)), mother (1.5 (1.1-2.0)), or siblings (1.7 (1.2-2.4)); adenoidectomy in mother (1.5 (1.0-2.2)); and passive smoking (1.4 (1.1-1.8)). In conclusion, snoring every night was equally prevalent in younger and older ages, more frequent in males, and present even in some children with a history of adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy. Chronic rhinitis, family history of snoring, and exposure to cigarette smoke were associated with an increased frequency of habitual snoring.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.