Study objectives: To examine the prevalence and correlates of habitual snoring in senior high school students in Korea.
Design: A cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Ten high schools in the southern part of Seoul, Korea.
Participants: A total of 3,871 high school students (2,703 male students and 1,168 female students; age range, 15 to 18 years; mean age: male students, 16.8 years; female students, 16.9 years) who were attending the 11th grade.
Measurements and results: Data were collected on sociodemographic characteristics, school performance, and patterns of sleep and sleep-related disturbances. The overall prevalence of habitual snoring was 11.2% (boys, 12.4%; girls, 8.5%). The mean total sleep time was similar in habitual snorers vs nonsnorers (6.4 and 6.3 h per day, respectively). Frequency of snoring increased significantly with body mass index (BMI) [p < 0.001], cigarette smoking (p < 0.01), prevalence of witnessed apnea (p < 0.001), and Epworth sleepiness scale score (p < 0.001). The frequency of snoring increased with a decline in school performance (p < 0.001). For those whose school performance was low, there was a 35% excess in the odds of habitual snoring vs those whose school performance was high (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.78).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that chronic habitual snoring is associated with multiple factors in adolescents. Whether interventions to modify BMI and smoking can alter snoring habits and related clinical problems warrants further study, particularly as it also may improve academic performance in high school students.