Prevalence of and risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in children with sickle cell: a multicentric cross sectional study

Ann Hematol. 2022 Jan;101(1):43-57. doi: 10.1007/s00277-021-04646-1. Epub 2021 Sep 10.


The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is elevated in some high-risk populations. Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) are known to have many comorbidities, including OSAS. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of and risk factors for OSAS among children with SCD in two major tertiary health care facilities in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This multicenter cross-sectional study took place in two major tertiary health care facilities-King Abdulaziz University Hospital and King Khalid National Guard Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Children with SCD who were admitted between January 2010 and December 2017 were enrolled. The Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ) was used to screen for OSAS. Data were collected from 150 children with SCD aged between 2 and 18 years. Eighty-five percent of the children had sickle cell anemia (SCA) with HbSS, and the rest had sickle beta-thalassemia (HbS/ß-thalassemia). Based on the PSQ, 33 of the 150 (22%) children had OSAS (score ≥ 7). The average score on the PSQ was 3.8/22 (± 3.8). A history of adenotonsillar hypertrophy was found to be a significant risk factor in bivariate and multivariate analyses [aOR 5.5; 95% CI 1.84-16.35 (P < 0.001)]. The odds of having OSAS were ninefold higher in children who had periodic limb movements than in those who did not after adjustment [95% CI 1.75-48.03 (P < 0.001)]. OSAS is a highly prevalent disease among children with SCD. Many factors were associated with OSAS in the bivariate analysis, including nationality, education level, a history of adenotonsillar hypertrophy, and a history of periodic limb movements.

Keywords: Adenotonsillar hypertrophy; Obstructive sleep apnea; Sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology*