WASHINGTON, DC-Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a major problem in children because it is associated with behavioral, cognitive, and emotional morbidity. The silver lining to this cloud is that removal of the tonsils and adenoid tissue (T&A) normalizes children’s sleep and improves their behavior problems, while achieving dramatic reduction in health care resource utilization and cost savings.
Explore this issue:December 2007
Children with SDB exhibit sleepiness, cardiovascular problems, poor growth, depressed mood, and a spectrum of behavioral problems that can include aggression, poor academic performance, irritability and hyperactivity, and inattention, explained Norman R. Friedman, MD, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Sleep Lab in Denver.
A large survey of 1600 cases showed that children who snored between the ages of two and six were more likely to be at the bottom of their class, Dr. Friedman said. Another review of 12 studies showed that children with SDB had lower intelligence quotients (IQ) compared with controls. Dr. Friedman explained that even mild SDB is associated with lapses in attention and lower IQ, and that his threshold for intervention has dropped.