The prevalence, anatomical correlates and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing in obese children and adolescents

Sleep Med Rev. 2008 Oct;12(5):339-46. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2007.11.002. Epub 2008 Apr 11.


The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing worldwide. One of the obesity-related complications that has received increasing attention in recent years is sleep-disordered breathing. Obese children are at a higher risk of developing sleep-disordered breathing, including habitual snoring, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and desaturations preceded by central apneas. Both adiposity and upper airway factors, such as adenotonsillar hypertrophy, modulate the severity of sleep-disordered breathing in these children. Adenotonsillectomy seems to be effective against obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in obese children. On the other hand, there are limited data on the effects of weight loss and of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure on the severity of sleep apnea in obese children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoids / pathology
  • Adenoids / physiopathology
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Palatine Tonsil / pathology
  • Palatine Tonsil / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Snoring / epidemiology
  • Snoring / physiopathology