The prevalence of habitual snoring and its associations with respiratory symptoms, personal and familial risk factors, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) abnormalities, and its influence on ventilatory function were studied in a sample of 190 children aged 5 to 6 years from nine kindergartens in Nancy (northeastern France). Nineteen (10%; 95% CI 5.7-14.3%) of the children were habitual snorers; the prevalence was the same in boys and girls. In univariate analysis habitual snoring was significantly associated with a personal history of exercise-induced bronchospasm [relative risk (RR) 4.50]; a history of adenotonsillectomy (RR, 2.56); a personal history of allergy (RR, 2.83); a sibling history of atopy (RR, 2.39); and doctor-assessed tonsillar hypertrophy (RR, 2.51). These factors were entered into a logistic regression model that retained as independent determinants exercise-induced asthma, personal history of allergy, sibling history of allergy, and tonsillar hypertrophy. The height-adjusted peak expiratory flow rate was slightly, non-significantly lower in habitual snorers as compared to non-snorers (2.01 +/- 0.32 vs 2.10 +/- 0.38 L/s/m2). Due to the limited numbers in the sample, the increased risk for paternal (RR, 1.8) and maternal (RR, 1.6) smoking at home remained nonsignificant.