University of Oulu

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in young children : a 6-month follow-up study

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Author: Nieminen, Peter1,2,3,4
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology
3University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics
4University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2002
Publish Date: 2002-05-03
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium 7 of the University Hospital of Oulu, on May 3rd, 2002, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Henrik Malmberg
Docent Markku Partinen


Seventy-eight prepubertal children 3 to 10 years old (mean age 5,67 years, range 2.4–10.5 years), with symptoms suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) were studied. Based on overnight polysomnography (PSG) results, 32 children were classified as having OSAS, whereas 46 children were considered as primary snorers (PSs’), when an obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (AHIO) of over one was considered abnormal. Symptoms, signs and findings in these two groups were compared in a cross-sectional study. Fifty-eight of the children were retrieved for a follow-up visit, which was scheduled six months from the first visit. The children with an initial AHIO of 2 or over (n = 21) had been subjected to adenotonsillectomy swiftly after the first visit, whereas the others (n = 37) were observed without intervention. The changes in symptoms, signs and findings were analysed within and between these groups.

Relative risk (RR) ratios were calculated in order to find clinical symptoms and signs predicting OSAS in snoring children. Observed apneas, restless sleep, constant snoring and tonsillar hypertrophy were significantly associated with an increased risk of OSAS.

Dental arch measurements indicated that AHIO was significantly associated with the amount of overjet, suggesting that altered breathing may affect the dentofacial morphology.

Nasalance measurements revealed no group differences between the OSAS children and PSs’. Adenotonsillectomy had no significant influence on the nasalence scores. Measurements of nasalance seem to contribute little to the diagnostics of OSAS in children.

At the first visit the mean circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were of the same magnitude in the OSAS children, the PSs’ and the age-matched control group, but both the OSAS children and the PSs’ had lower IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) concentrations than the control subjects. At the second visit a significant increase of the peripheral concentrations of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3, along with increases in weight for height and BMI were observed in the surgically treated children, whose respiratory parameters and symptoms had improved highly significantly, as well. These results indicate that the growth of children with obstructed nighttime breathing is potentially affected through impaired growth hormone secretion.

None of the primary snorers developed OSAS during the observation period, which finding suggests a favorable prognosis for primary snoring in children.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-6655-2
ISBN Print: 951-42-6654-4
Issue: 673
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2002. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.