Sleep apnea Common, can have an effect on CVD in youngsters and adolescents

August 18, 2021

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Sleep Apnea Common, Can Have An Effect On CVD In Youngsters And Adolescents

Disclosure:
Baker-Smith does not report relevant financial information. The relevant financial information of all other authors can be found in the study.

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According to a scientific statement published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, obstructive sleep apnea is common in children and adolescents and can be linked to pressure and heart structure.

“The likelihood of children suffering from breathing disorders during sleep, and specifically obstructive sleep apnea, may be due to an enlarged child’s tonsils, adenoids, or facial structure; However, it is important for parents to realize that obesity also puts children at risk for obstructive sleep apnea,” Carissa M. Baker-Smith, MD, MPH, MS, director of pediatric preventive cardiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, and associate Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a press release. “Sleep disorders due to sleep apnea can increase pressure and are associated with insulin resistance and abnormal lipids, all of which can have adverse effects on overall cardiovascular health later in life.”

Paper saying diagnosis sleep apnea - Sleep Apnea Common, Can Have An Effect On CVD In Youngsters And AdolescentsSource: Adobe Stock

OSA prevalence, risk factors

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been diagnosed in 1% to 6% of all children and adolescents, with 30% to 60% of these adolescents meeting criteria for obesity. In addition, the statement highlighted obesity, upper and lower respiratory tract disease, allergic rhinitis, low muscle tone, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, craniofacial malformations, neuromuscular disease and sickle cell anemia as primary risk factors for OSA.

The researchers also uncovered the following symptoms in children associated with OSA:

  • habitual snoring at least 3 nights a week;
  • wheezing or snorting while sleeping;
  • difficult breathing during sleep;
  • sleeping upright or with the neck craned;
  • daytime fatigue;
  • headache on waking; or
  • Symptoms of upper airway obstruction.

The researchers recommended conduction polysomnography before tonsillectomy in children and adolescents with sleep disordered breathing and noted that conditions likely to increase the risk of complications during surgery include obesity, Down syndrome, craniofacial , neuromuscular disorders and sickle cell anemia.

The researchers also found that children and adolescents with OSA are likely to have higher pressure. Normally, elevated pressure during sleep is 10% lower than waking blood pressure, but children and adolescents with OSA had smaller falls in blood pressure during sleep. The statement highlighted a previous study showing that 7.6% of children and adolescents with an apnea-hypopnea index greater than five events per hour experienced a 10% drop in blood pressure, compared with 11.5% of children and Adolescents with primary snoring (P < 0.01). These results led the researchers to propose that children and adolescents with OSA have their blood pressure measured over a 24-hour period to assess levels of wakefulness and sleep.

Metabolic syndrome a problem

Finally, the researchers highlighted metabolic syndrome as another concern for this patient population, including those with mild OSA. Continuous positive airway pressure treatment can affect important factors of metabolic syndrome such as: B. a significant reduction in triglyceride levels and an improvement in HDL levels, they wrote.

“Obesity is a significant risk factor for sleep disorders and obstructive sleep apnea, and sleep apnea severity can be improved by weight loss interventions, which then improve metabolic syndrome factors such as insulin sensitivity,” Baker-Smith said in the press release. “We need to raise awareness of how the increasing prevalence of obesity can affect sleep quality in children, and recognize sleep disordered breathing as something that could contribute to risks of hypertension and later cardiovascular disease.”

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