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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014 Apr;49(4):366-71. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22830. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Family history of adenotonsillectomy as a risk factor for tonsillar hypertrophy and snoring in childhood.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology Unit, Sleep Disorders Laboratory, University of Athens School of Medicine and Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Accumulating evidence supports a role for familial predisposition in the pathogenesis of OSA. In this study, it was hypothesized that parental history of adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy (AT), which is the standard treatment for pediatric OSA is a risk factor for tonsillar hypertrophy and habitual snoring (>3 nights/week) in the offspring.


Children were recruited from the emergency department and the pediatric pulmonology clinic. Paternal or maternal history of AT (explanatory variables) and habitual snoring (outcome) were recorded and presence of tonsillar hypertrophy (outcome) was assessed.


Two hundred ninety-two children (2-14 y.o.) were recruited; 37 (12.7%) of them had paternal history of AT, 39 (13.4%) maternal history of AT, 60 (20.5%) tonsillar hypertrophy, and 48 (16.4%) habitual snoring. Maternal and paternal history of AT were significantly associated with the presence of tonsillar hypertrophy even after adjustment for age, gender, obesity, passive smoking, and physician-diagnosed wheezing requiring treatment with inhaled medications over the past year [odds ratios (95% confidence interval): 3.52 (1.54-8.06); P < 0.01 and 4.70 (2.13-10.36); P < 0.01, respectively]. Only maternal history of AT predicted history of snoring [4.12 (1.86-9.12); P < 0.01]. When entered in the same multivariate logistic regression analysis model, tonsillar hypertrophy was a stronger predictor of habitual snoring than maternal history of AT [4.00 (1.97-8.14) vs. 2.73 (1.20-6.20)].


Children with parental history of AT have more frequently tonsillar hypertrophy than those without such history. Tonsillar hypertrophy mediates at least in part the association between maternal history of AT and habitual snoring in childhood.


adenotonsillectomy; obstructive sleep apnea; snoring; tonsillar hypertrophy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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