AIM AND OBJECTIVE: Epidemiological studies of sleep disturbances are essential to promote awareness among families and educational officials and deliver appropriate treatment at a very early timing. The aim of this population-based study was to determine the frequency of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) symptoms and its association with obesity among schoolchildren in West Saudi Arabia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study comprised 2,000 schoolchildren aged 6-12 years. Sleep-disordered breathing symptoms were assessed with Arabic version of Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ). Overweight/obesity was evaluated using body mass index (BMI) and their association with SDB was tested using a regression analysis model.
RESULTS: Overall, 23% of children were at high risk of SDB. Prevalence of habitual snoring was 15.9% and sleep apnea 4%. Boys were at higher risk of SDB than girls (p = 0.026), while age had no effect (p = 0.254). High-risk SDB had a strong association with sleep symptoms compared to low-risk SDB (p < 0.05). Sleep-disordered breathing increased significantly in overweight and obese children (p = 0.017 and p < 0.001, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Around 23% Saudi schoolchildren are at risk of SDB. Related symptoms were strongly associated with high risk of SDB. Overweight and obesity had a strong and progressive association with SDB.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The results will help in identifying children at high risk of developing SDB and plan for early intervention to avoid the progression of SDB later in life.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.