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Chest. 2001 May;119(5):1393-400.

Sleep-related breathing disorders in adolescents aged 12 to 16 years : clinical and polygraphic findings.

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Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla, Spain.



To determine the frequency, symptoms, and polygraphic features of sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) in adolescents aged 12 to 16 years.


Cross-sectional study.


Randomly selected secondary schools in the city of Seville, SPAIN:


A general population sample of adolescents (n = 101; mean [+/- SD] age, 13.2 +/- 0.8 years).


An 82-item questionnaire regarding anthropometric data and nocturnal and daytime symptoms suggestive of SRBD was administered. Symptoms were evaluated according to a 4-point frequency scale. Snorers answered "sometimes" or "often" in the question about snoring, and nonsnorers answered "never" or "rarely." All subjects underwent an overnight cardiorespiratory polygraphy at home.


Twenty-nine percent of the subjects were snorers. Excessive daytime sleepiness was present in 14% of subjects, and sleep apnea was present in 3%. Polygraphy showed a respiratory disturbance index > or = 10 in 18 subjects (17.8%), but concurrent symptoms highly suggestive of SRBD were found in only 2 subjects (1.9%). Snorers had higher waist-to-hip ratios and a higher frequency of witnessed apnea or labored breathing as well as higher values of respiratory events as compared with nonsnorers. However, oximetry data were similar in both groups.


In a nonselected group of adolescents aged 12 to 16 years, the frequency of symptoms potentially associated with SRBD was similar to that reported for younger children. Snoring was associated with a higher occurrence of other nocturnal symptoms, a more central pattern of body fat distribution, and a higher respiratory disturbance index as compared with nonsnorers. Although polygraphic abnormalities were mild, two cases of probable SRBD were found with a prevalence rate of 1.9%.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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