Children Who Snore May Have Asthma
Snoring Among Preschoolers Linked to Asthma, Nighttime Cough
Aug. 11, 2003 -- Snoring children may be more than just a
nuisance at night. A new study shows preschool children who snore are twice as
likely to have other respiratory problems, such as asthma or nighttime
Researchers say it's the first study to look at the prevalence
of snoring among children and its relationship to other respiratory problems,
and the findings suggest that treating the snoring issue first may help lessen
the other conditions.
"Physicians often use nighttime cough as a guide in
diagnosing asthma in young children, and proceed to treat the asthma hoping to
eliminate the cough," says researcher Lucy R. Lu, MPH, of the department of
medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia, in a news release. "Our
study shows nighttime cough may be caused by snoring, rather than asthma. In
these cases, treating the snoring would be more effective in reducing
The study, published in the current issue of the journal
Chest, compared information on snoring, asthma, nighttime cough, and hay
fever (seasonal allergies) from 974 preschool children between the ages of 2
Snoring Linked to Other Breathing Problems
Researchers found that 10.5% of the children snored more than
four times a week, and 28% suffered from asthma.
When they looked at how the various respiratory problems were
related, they found:
- 42.4% of the snoring children also had asthma compared to only 26.4% of
children who did not snore.
- 61.8% of children who snored also reported nighttime cough versus only
30.5% of non-snoring children.
Researchers say any type of nasal obstruction is known to cause
snoring among both children and adults, but more study is needed to understand
the relationship between asthma and snoring and nighttime cough.
"Although there is a strong correlation between asthma and
snoring, the causal link between the two conditions is unclear," says
researcher Colin E. Sullivan, PhD, a professor of medicine at the University of
Sydney, in a news release. "Asthma does increase the drive to breathe and
increased breathing efforts are known to induce snoring. However, it is
possible that snoring may act as a trigger for asthma by allowing
allergen-laden mucus from the upper airway to enter the lung airways."