Racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of snoring and sleep disordered breathing in young children

J Clin Sleep Med. 2011 Apr 15;7(2):163-71.


Study objective: To determine whether there are racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of pediatric snoring and sleep disordered breathing (SDB).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, parents or caretakers of 346 children, aged 2 through 6 years, attending well-child care visits at 5 general pediatric offices and clinics (3 academic, 2 private) in Brooklyn, NY completed the Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders Scale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ) along with a survey on demographics, prior treatment for SDB, and parental knowledge of pediatric SDB. The child's height and weight were recorded from the office visit.

Results: The prevalence of snoring was 13.9% (95% CI 10.2, 17.5) and of SDB was 9.4% (95% CI 6.3, 12.6). The odds of snoring for black children was 2.5 as great as for white children, and for Hispanic children was 2.3 as great as for white children (p = 0.031). There was a higher, non-statistically significant prevalence of abnormal PSQ scores in black and Hispanic children than white children. On multivariate analysis, only black race (OR 3.1 95% CI 1.1, 8.9) and prematurity (OR 4.4 95% CI 1.6, 12.4) were associated with snoring; male gender (OR 2.9 95% CI 1.1, 8.5) was associated with SDB. Knowledge regarding SDB was low among parents and caretakers. The degree of knowledge present was not associated with parental concern about snoring and discussion of the snoring with the child's pediatrician.

Conclusions: Black race and prematurity are independent predictors of snoring. The degree of parental knowledge regarding SDB was not associated with seeking medical treatment.

Keywords: Sleep disordered breathing; children; epidemiology; ethnic groups; obstructive sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / ethnology
  • Snoring / epidemiology*
  • Snoring / ethnology