Prevalence of habitual snoring and associated neurocognitive consequences among Chilean school aged children

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Sep;76(9):1327-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.05.028. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Objective: To assess the prevalence of habitual snoring and symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and their association with neurocognitive consequences in school-aged children.

Methods: A population based cross-sectional study was carried out in a low income urban setting in Santiago, Chile. A parental SDB-questionnaire was adapted and applied to a community based sample of children aged 7-17 years. Hyperactive/inattentive behavior was assessed using the Conner's rating scale. School grades were obtained and the associations between questionnaire's results and risks for poor academic performance were investigated.

Results: Of 700 questionnaires sent; 523 (75%) returned correctly filled in. Mean age of the subjects was 11.0±2.5 years; 246 (47%) were boys. Prevalence of habitual snoring was 18%. The Conner's rating scale correlated significantly with the SDB-questionnaire's score (r(s)=0.47). Children with habitual snoring showed significantly lower (mean±standard deviation) school grades in Spanish language (5.6±1.2 vs. 5.4±0.9, p-value=0.04) and general average school grades (5.9±0.6 vs. 5.7±0.6, p-value=0.05). After adjustment for possible confounding factors, children with an abnormal SDB questionnaire score had significantly higher risk for poor academic performance in Spanish language, odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.82 (1.01-3.27) and physical education 1.85 (1.05-3.26).

Discussion: There was a high prevalence of habitual snoring and symptoms of SDB in this survey of Chilean children, being among the highest reported. The presence of habitual snoring and an abnormal SDB questionnaire were associated with poor academic performance and hyperactive behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Child
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / psychology
  • Snoring / epidemiology*
  • Snoring / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires