A new study from Yeshiva University has found that snoring and other nighttime breathing problems may delay growth in kids.
Researchers have long suspected these problems - collectively known as sleep disordered breathing (SDB) - contribute to growth delays in children but the studies have still not drawn definitive conclusions.
It is believed to interrupt deep sleep, a period of the sleep cycle when the body typically secretes large amounts of growth hormone.
And children with SDB are thought to produce a lesser amount of growth hormone.
To gain deeper insights, Karen A. Bonuck, Ph.D., associate professor of family and social medicine at Einstein collected and re-analyzed data from 20 well-designed studies, a statistical technique known as a meta-analysis.
These studies involved children with enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids - the principal causes of SDB. All the children had their tonsils/adenoids surgically removed, either to treat symptoms of SDB or recurrent infection, or both.
"Our meta-analysis found significant increases in both standardized height and weight following surgery," said Bonuck.
"In other words, while all the children were expected to continue to grow after they underwent surgery, their growth rates were much greater than expected.
Our findings suggest that primary-care providers and specialists should consider the possibility of SDB when they see children with growth failure," Bonuck added.
The paper was published online by Archives of Disease in Childhood.