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Data from 2 studies showed serious concern for infants and children with breathing problems during sleep. A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that 1-year-olds with sleep apnea or slow heart rate while sleeping scored lower on mental development tests, compared with other children the same age.
The second study, mainly funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, showed that 5-year-old children who had frequent snoring, loud or noisy breathing during sleep, or sleep apneas scored lower on intelligence, memory, and other standard cognitive tests than other 5- year-olds. In addition, these children were more likely to have behavior problems.