Apnoea In Children

Mon, Mar 28, 2011

A recent article in the Heart & Stroke Foundation blog mentions recent research which talks about apnoea in kids.  In particular, the research pointed to a correlation between neck size and prevalence of OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea). 

According to the article, ”Researchers studied 215 children (ages 1 ½ to 18 years) who went to a pediatric sleep centre. When the researchers examined the children, they found that those who had a larger than average neck size for their age were more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Neck size was the most significant of all the predictors, better than body mass index (BMI) weight or tonsil size, according to the researchers.”

This is in line with what we find when dealing with adult patients:  a larger neck circumference is often a clue that the patient will suffer from a degree of apnoea. 

This concept was refined by Dr Bill Flemons who wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that a high predictability for OSA could be achieved by checking a patient’s neck circumference, blood pressure, and whether or not they snored.  If neck circumference was greater than 45cm and the patient had high BP and snored, they were very likely to have OSA.

Diagnostic sleep studies are far easier to access and do nowadays — in fact, in many cases they can even be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home, rather than in a hospital or sleep lab.  So, if you suspect you might have a sleep disordered breathing condition, ask your doctor to arrange a study … or contact our clinic and we’ll do it all for you.