Research involving 1144 third-gradeGerman schoolchildren found that a rangeof factors may promote chronic snoring inchildren. For the study, the researcherssurveyed the parents of the students atthe beginning of the study and again ayear later. The researchers discoveredthat obesity, "mouth breathing" during theday, frequent sore throats, and parentssmoking were all connected with a greaterrisk of habitual snoring.
Chronic snoring can be a symptom ofobstructive sleep apnea. Yet, habitualsnoring without sleep apnea can be aproblem in itself, reported study coauthorChristian F. Poets, MD.
Dr. Poets said that for many years therehas been a general belief that childrenwith sleep apnea require treatment, butchronic snoring alone does not need treatmentbecause it is not a problem. Theresearcher explained that, similar to adults,children who snore?even withoutsleep apnea?may frequently fail to get arestful night's sleep, and therefore encounterdaytime drowsiness.
Using the parents' reports, the researchersfound that about 8% of the studentswere initially habitual snorers. Ayear later, half of the children were stillchronically snoring, while a majority of therest were snoring intermittently. Determiningwhich children are more apt todevelop chronic snoring could allowphysicians to treat or prevent the condition(Chest, September 2004).