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J Pediatr. 2008 Aug;153(2):176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.01.040. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Prenatal and neonatal risk factors for sleep disordered breathing in school-aged children born preterm.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-6010, USA. annamaria.hibbs@case.edu



Previously published data from the Cleveland Children's Sleep and Health Study demonstrated that preterm infants are especially vulnerable both to sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and its neurocognitive sequelae at age 8 to 11 years. In this analysis, we aimed to identify the components of the neonatal medical history associated with childhood SDB among children born prematurely.


This analysis focuses on the 383 children in the population-based cohort from the Cleveland Children's Sleep and Health Study who were born <37 weeks gestational age and who had technically acceptable sleep studies performed at ages 8 to 11 years (92% of all preterm children). Logistic regression was used to evaluate the associations between candidate perinatal and neonatal risk factors and the presence of childhood SDB by sleep study.


Twenty-eight preterm children (7.3%) met the definition for SDB at age 8 to 11 years. Having a single mother and mild maternal preeclampsia were strongly associated with SDB in unadjusted and race-adjusted models. Unadjusted analyses also identified xanthine use and cardiopulmonary resuscitation or intubation in the delivery room as potential risk-factors for SDB. We did not find a significant link between traditional markers of severity of neonatal illness-such as gestational age, birth weight, intraventricular hemorrhage, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or duration of ventilation-and childhood SDB at school age.


These results represent a first step in identifying prenatal and neonatal characteristics that place preterm infants at higher risk for childhood SDB. The strong association between mild preeclampsia and childhood SDB underscores the importance of research aimed at understanding in utero risk factors for neurorespiratory development.

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