Snoring in children: association with respiratory symptoms and passive smoking

BMJ. 1989 Dec 16;299(6714):1491-4. doi: 10.1136/bmj.299.6714.1491.


Objective: To investigate the relation between snoring and various respiratory symptoms and passive parental smoking.

Design: Data were collected by questionnaire.

Setting: Primary schools in Guardiagrele and Francavilla in the Abruzzi region in central Italy.

Subjects: 1615 Children aged 6-13 years were categorised according to whether they snored often; occasionally apart from with colds; only with colds; or never.

Results: 118 Children were habitual snorers and 137 were reported to snore apart from when they had colds. Never snorers (n = 822) were significantly older than children in other categories. Snoring was significantly associated with rhinitis, production of cough and sputum, previous tonsillectomy, and passive parental smoking. Of the habitual snorers, 82 were exposed to passive smoking. The prevalence of habitual snoring increased significantly with the number of cigarettes smoked by parents (from 5.5% in never smoking [corrected] households to 8.8% in heavy smoking households).

Conclusions: Snoring is quite common in children. The dose-effect relation of smoking and snoring shown in this study adds weight to a further adverse effect of parental smoking on children's health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Common Cold / complications*
  • Cough / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Rhinitis / complications*
  • Snoring / epidemiology
  • Snoring / etiology*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tonsillectomy


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution