Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Urine Test May Spot Sleep Apnea in Children

Urine Test May Tell the Difference Between Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 8, 2009 -- A urine test may offer an easier way to tell the difference between a simple snoring problem and more serious obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children, according to new research.

Habitual snoring is a common condition in children and affects up to 12% of school-aged children. But obstructive sleep apnea is a rarer and potentially serious condition.

Up to 3% of children under age 10 suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, with symptoms like snoring caused by partial or complete obstruction of the upper airways during sleep. If untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to learning, behavioral, and other health problems.

That’s why researchers say it’s essential to differentiate between the two conditions. However, current methods to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea in children are inconvenient and expensive, requiring overnight observation and polysomnography.

A new study, published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, may open the way for a simple urine test to help diagnose obstructive sleep apnea in children by screening for a group of specific proteins found in children with OSA.

In the study, researchers analyzed morning urine proteins from 60 children with confirmed obstructive sleep apnea, 30 children with habitual snoring, and 30 non-snoring healthy children. The urine samples were screened for hundreds of proteins and found a number of proteins were differently expressed in children with OSA.

"These findings open up the possibility of developing a relatively simple urine test that could detect OSA in snoring children. This would alleviate the need for costly and inconvenient sleep studies in children who snore, only about 20% to 30% of whom actually have OSA," says researcher David Gozal, MD, professor and chairman of the pediatrics department at the University of Chicago.

"We wish to validate these findings in urine samples from many children from laboratories around the country and to develop a simple color-based test that can be done in the physician office or by the parents," Gozal says.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration