Sleep apnea in children and teens linked to lower academic grades

July, 2010

A study of overweight children and adolescents has found that moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea was linked to both lower academic grades and behavioral concerns.

A study involving 163 overweight children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 has revealed that moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea was linked to both lower academic grades and behavioral concerns. None of the students with moderate to severe OSA had an "A" average, and 30% had a "C" average or lower. In contrast, roughly 15% of those without sleep-disordered breathing had an "A" average, and only about 15% had a "C" average or lower. The results remained significant after adjustment for sex, race, socioeconomic status and sleep duration on school nights. OSA was particularly associated with inattention and poor study skills in real-world situations Forty-two students had moderate to severe OSA; 58 had mild OSA; 26 students were snorers; 37 had no sleep-disordered breathing.

Reference: 

Beebe, D.W. et al. 2010. The association between sleep-disordered breathing, academic grades, and neurobehavioral functioning among overweight subjects during middle to late childhood. Presented at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, in San Antonio, Texas.

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