Sleep-disordered breathing among children had been earlier associated with the development of learning disabilities, metabolic disorders and heart disease.
When airflow becomes obstructed, the throat and tongue vibrate against parts of the palate and uvula. Nasal allergies, infections, structural irregularities and problems of the tonsils and the adenoids cause obstruction of airflow.
Some of the treatments available for chronic snorers are surgical, laser and radio-wave treatments as well as nasal masks. For milder cases lifestyle changes, such as adhering to routine sleep patterns, sleeping on one's side, loss of weight and avoiding alcohol and sleeping medications just before bedtime, are recommended.
The results of the study were developed using tallies of snoring incidents among 681 children from the Cincinnati area. All these infants were children of atopic parents at an average age of just over 1 year.
Children who snored three or more times a week were defined as habitual snorers. Blood tests to evaluate infant allergies were also performed.
The results of the study were published in the April issue of the journal Chest. The study revealed that among the parents, 20 percent of the mothers and 46 percent of the fathers were found to be habitual snorers Children of such parent were almost three times as likely to snore frequently than children of non-snoring parents.
In addition atopy-positive children were found to be almost twice as likely to be habitual snorers when compared to non-atopic children. African-American children also showed increased tendencies, of nearly three times, to be habitual snorers.
This study has served an important role for identifying potential risk factors for sleep apnea, which is very often under-diagnosed and under-treated.