Snoring Children May Suffer at School
Snoring Linked to Poor Academic Performance
WebMD News Archive
Aug. 20, 2003 -- Children who snore may suffer at school as
well as at night.
A new study shows children who snore most nights score worse on
tests of mathematics, science, and spelling compared with children who don't
Researchers say it's the first study to show a clear biological
relationship between snoring in children and the risk of poor academic
performance, in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
They say the study has important public health implications
because the findings suggest that snoring may have a negative effect on
children's mental performance -- even if they don't suffer from an inadequate
supply of oxygen in the blood, a condition called hypoxia that is frequently
associated with snoring. Previously, snoring that occurred without hypoxia was
Snoring and School
In the study, researchers collected information on snoring and
academic performance from 1,129 third-grade school children in Germany. Snoring
frequency was determined using parental reports and home monitoring of
nighttime oxygen levels that provided data on intermittent hypoxia.
"Habitual snoring, defined as snoring frequently or always,
was found in one of 10 of these primary school children, which is in line with
other studies," write researcher Michael S. Urschitz, of University
Hospital of Tuebingen, Germany, and colleagues.
"More importantly, children who snored habitually had at
least twice the risk of performing poorly at school, with this association
becoming stronger with increasing frequency," they write.
The study also showed a significant relationship between poor
academic performance and snoring in children who did not suffer from inadequate
oxygen levels in the blood, which suggests that snoring's effect on academic
performance is not due to intermittent hypoxia.
Instead, researchers say snoring children may suffer at school
due to reduced attention spans, behavioral disturbances like hyperactivity,
daytime sleepiness, and/or hearing difficulties caused by snoring and the
sleeping problems that accompany it.