When Preschoolers Snore

Snoring may play a significant role in producing nocturnal cough, which then may be a first sign of asthma. These findings suggest an effective treatment of one symptom may lead to reductions in the presence or severity of other symptoms.

Researchers in Australia found a strong association between snoring and nocturnal cough. In the study of 974 children ages 2 to 5, more than 30 percent of all non-snorers had the cough compared to 61.8 percent of all children who snored. In the non-asthmatic group of children who did not snore, the prevalence of nocturnal cough was 22.6 percent. This number increased to 44.1 percent when those children were also snorers.

In the asthmatic group, the prevalence of nocturnal cough was significantly higher among children who snored. Of those who did not snore, 26.4 percent of children were reported to have asthma compared to 42.2 percent of children who snored. Researchers found no difference in the prevalence of snoring between genders or ages. In the study, 273 children were diagnosed with asthma. The prevalence of asthma dropped slightly from age 2 to 3, but increased from age 4 to 5.

Sleep-disordered breathing is common in asthmatics. Nasal obstruction of any kind is known to cause snoring. Nocturnal cough is a symptom that can be indicative of asthma in young children, and is often the first sign of asthma in this age group.

SOURCE: Chest, 2003;124:587-593

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