World Bulletin / News Desk
Preschoolers who habitually snore may be at greater risk of behavioral problems than other children their age, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers, who results appeared in the journal Pediatrics, found that two- and three-year olds who snored loudly at least a couple of times per week tended to have more problems with inattention and hyperactivity.
More than one-third of those "persistent" snorers were considered to be at least at risk of a behavioral disorder, like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
That compared with 10 to 12 percent of their peers who either did not snore or had shorter-lived problems, said researchers led by Dean Beebe, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
The findings do not prove that the breathing problems directly lead to behavioral problems or that treating the underlying cause of snoring can improve children's behavior.
"Kids are going to snore sometimes, especially when they have a cold," Beebe said in an interview. "It's when the snoring persists that it gets concerning."
He added that chronic, loud snoring "should be on parents' radar, and it's something they should bring up to their pediatrician."
The study adds to others that have linked children's behavior to so-called sleep-disordered breathing - when kids chronically snore, mouth-breathe or seem to stop breathing for several seconds at a time as they sleep, also called apnea.
For the study, 249 children were followed from birth to age three. Overall, nine percent were considered persistent snorers based on parents' reports. That meant they'd snored loudly at least twice a week at the ages of both two and three.
Another 23 percent were "transient" snorers, meaning they'd snored at least twice a week at either age two or three but not both. The rest of the children, 68 percent, were considered non-snorers.
Overall, 35 percent of the persistent snorers scored high enough on a standard questionnaire to at least be considered "at risk" of a behavioral disorder, though that didn't mean they had one.
"It isn't necessarily diagnostic, but they're showing more problems than is typical," Beebe said.
There are reasons to believe that sleep-disordered breathing would affect children's behavior. One reason is that poor sleep quality could make them tired and more easily frustrated.
Based on animal research, it's possible that when apnea causes oxygen levels to go down repeatedly overnight, there might effects on the brain circuitry.
Beebe's team accounted for family income, children's exposure to cigarette smoke and certain other factors, and the snoring-behavior link still held. Although, Beebe said it's always possible that there are other explanations.
For now, he recommended that parents be aware that persistent snoring is "not normal" and is something they should tell their pediatrician about.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out
Blamed on the uncontrolled and overuse of farm chemicals, the level of contamination has raised a number of health concerns, with certain villages already showing higher rates of cancer than the national average.
The deputy minister called on South Sudanese farmers in states that have not been hit by famine to cultivate their farmlands to avoid exacerbating the crisis in the country.
Researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus (EBOV) showed a 97 percent similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa.
Pakistan's army will join campaign to eradicate polio.
Instead of testing one drug at a time, a novel lung cancer study announced will allow British researchers to test up to 14 drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer at the same time within one trial
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's office said that medical officers at the centre had confirmed three cases of the potentially fatal tropical disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month ordered a halt to its annual hunts in the Southern Ocean, prompting Japan to cancel its 2014-2015 Antarctic hunt, the programme's mainstay, as it pledged to abide by the ruling
Researchers said they have identified a protein on the egg cell's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of a sperm cell, allowing the two cells to join
The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus was found in the person's blood who died on Sunday in Istanbul.
Authorities said a cancer-inducing chemical had been found in tap water supplied by the firm at 20 times above national safety levels, state media said
Ebola is a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure.
The central government has identified the heavily industrialised Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin region as one of the main fronts in its war against pollution
The findings of the study and the likely changes to the food chain will be of concern to millions in the tropics who depend on coral reefs for food security and livelihoods.
More compact city designs that cut commutes, insulation to save energy, better public transport, cycle lanes and pedestrian areas can all cut emissions, mainly from fossil fuels.
Along with Saudi Arabia, cases of MERS have so far been reported in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Jordan and Oman.