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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2006 Dec;7(4):247-59. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea in children.

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  • 1Kosair Children's Hospital Research Institute, and Division of Pediatric Sleep, Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


The prevalence and severity of obesity in children and adolescent is dramatically increasing worldwide with a corresponding increase in the prevalence of obesity-associated morbidities particularly those involving OSAS and metabolic and cardiovascular sequelae. Obstructive sleep apnea and obesity hypoventilation syndrome are important and serious consequences of obesity, and may in fact mediate components of the association between obesity and metabolic and cardiovascular morbidities, most likely via potentiation of inflammatory cascades. It is anticipated that the increased prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in our society will be accompanied by a steady increase in the incidence of OSAS. In this review, we will examine our current understanding of sleep-disordered breathing and associated morbidities in obese children, and summarize the range of therapeutic modalities currently available for this high-risk population.

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