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Clinical Investigations: SLEEP AND BREATHING |

Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders in Adolescents Aged 12 to 16 Years*: Clinical and Polygraphic Findings

Angeles Sánchez-Armengol, MD; María A. Fuentes-Pradera, MD; Francisco Capote-Gil, MD; Emilio García-Díaz, MD; Soledad Cano-Gómez, MD; Carmen Carmona-Bernal, MD; José Castillo-Gómez, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla, Spain.

Correspondence to: Angeles Sánchez-Armengol, MD, Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Manuel Siurot s/n, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain; e-mail: almar@comcadiz.es



Chest. 2001;119(5):1393-1400. doi:10.1378/chest.119.5.1393
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Study objectives: To determine the frequency, symptoms, and polygraphic features of sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) in adolescents aged 12 to 16 years.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Randomly selected secondary schools in the city of Seville, Spain.

Participants: A general population sample of adolescents (n = 101; mean [± SD] age, 13.2 ± 0.8 years).

Interventions: An 82-item questionnaire regarding anthropometric data and nocturnal and daytime symptoms suggestive of SRBD was administered. Symptoms were evaluated according to a 4-point frequency scale. Snorers answered “sometimes” or “often” in the question about snoring, and nonsnorers answered “never” or“ rarely.” All subjects underwent an overnight cardiorespiratory polygraphy at home.

Results: Twenty-nine percent of the subjects were snorers. Excessive daytime sleepiness was present in 14% of subjects, and sleep apnea was present in 3%. Polygraphy showed a respiratory disturbance index ≥ 10 in 18 subjects (17.8%), but concurrent symptoms highly suggestive of SRBD were found in only 2 subjects (1.9%). Snorers had higher waist-to-hip ratios and a higher frequency of witnessed apnea or labored breathing as well as higher values of respiratory events as compared with nonsnorers. However, oximetry data were similar in both groups.

Conclusions: In a nonselected group of adolescents aged 12 to 16 years, the frequency of symptoms potentially associated with SRBD was similar to that reported for younger children. Snoring was associated with a higher occurrence of other nocturnal symptoms, a more central pattern of body fat distribution, and a higher respiratory disturbance index as compared with nonsnorers. Although polygraphic abnormalities were mild, two cases of probable SRBD were found with a prevalence rate of 1.9%.

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