ScienceDaily: An estimated 1-6% of all children and adolescents have obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea, a form of sleep-disordered breathing, is common in children and adolescents and may be associated with elevated blood pressure and changes in heart structure, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association. A scientific statement is an expert analysis of current research and may inform future guidelines.
“The likelihood of children having disordered breathing during sleep and, in particular, obstructive sleep apnea, may be due to enlargement of the tonsils, adenoids or a child’s facial structure, however, it is important for parents to recognize that obesity also puts kids at risk for obstructive sleep apnea,” said statement writing group chair Carissa M. Baker-Smith, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., director of pediatric preventive cardiology at the Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, and associate professor of pediatric cardiology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “Sleep disruptions due to sleep apnea have the potential to raise blood pressure and are linked with insulin resistance and abnormal lipids, all of which may adversely impact overall cardiovascular health later in life.”
Sleep-disordered breathing is when someone experiences abnormal episodes of labored breathing, snoring and snoring sounds during sleep.