Obese Children — Double the Risk of Sleep Apnea
In yet what seems to be another reason for parents to get their children’s eating habits in check, a new study conducted by Italian researchers found that obese children were twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea than their more fit counterparts. The researchers studied a range of children of different weights, from those that did not snore to those with occasional snoring and habitual snoring.
The study compared 627 children who did not snore with 44 children with habitual snoring, and 138 children who snored occasionally. Of those children, 64 were obese, 121 were overweight, and 624 were normal weight.
It was found that 12.5 percent of obese children snored, which was more than two times higher than commonly overweight children, and three times higher than normal-weight children. Those obese children were more than twice as likely to suffer from the more serious condition of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and periods of holding the breath. People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing dozens of times during sleep and may not breathe for as much as three fourths of the time that they’re sleeping. This can lead to severe health issues such as high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, enlargement of the heart, stroke and long dysfunction.
Statistically, sleep apnea is as prevalent as adult-onset diabetes. During a sleep apnea event, the airway becomes obstructed during sleep. Unchecked, it can be dangerous because the heart is sensitive to oxygen levels in the blood.
The study was published in the May issue of the journal CHEST.
For more information about the symptoms of sleep apnea, visit Eos Sleep’s link to: Sleep Apnea section.
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