Study links preschool snoring, asthma, and nighttime cough

August 11, 2003

(NORTHBROOK, IL, August 12, 2003) - Preschool-age children who regularly snore have a higher prevalence of asthma and nighttime cough than children who do not snore, says a study published in the August issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). The study found that preschool children who snored were twice as likely as nonsnorers to have either asthma or nighttime cough, and that children who snored were more likely than nonsnorers to have coexisting asthma and nighttime cough.

"Physicians often use nighttime cough as a guide in diagnosing asthma in young children, and proceed to treat the asthma hoping to eliminate the cough," said lead author Lucy R. Lu, MB, MPH, Department of Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia. "Our study shows nighttime cough may be caused by snoring, rather than asthma. In these cases, treating the snoring would be more effective in reducing cough."

Researchers from the University of Sydney and The Children's Hospital at Westmead, investigated the prevalence of snoring and the association between snoring, asthma, nighttime cough, and nasal obstruction (hay fever) in preschool children. Using a parent-administered questionnaire, researchers gathered information from 974 children (516 boys and 458 girls) ages 2 through 5. In the children studied, 42.2 percent of children who snored also had asthma, compared to 26.4 percent of children who did not snore. In addition, 61.8 percent of children who snored reported nighttime cough, as compared to 30.5 percent of children who did not snore. A cross-analysis indicated 86.1 percent of children with asthma who snored also experienced nighttime cough, as compared to 52.6 percent of children with asthma who did not snore, 44.1 percent of children without asthma who snored, and 22.6 percent of children reporting no asthma or snoring. Although nasal obstruction of any kind is known to cause snoring, the prevalence of asthma in children without hay fever was significantly higher in children who snored than in children who did not snore.

"Although there is a strong correlation between asthma and snoring, the causal link between the two conditions is unclear. Asthma does increase the drive to breathe and increased breathing efforts are known to induce snoring. However, it is possible that snoring may act as a trigger for asthma by allowing allergen-laden mucus from the upper airway to enter the lung airways," said co-author Colin E. Sullivan, BSc, MB, BS, PhD, Professor of Medicine, University of Sydney. "Snoring's potential to produce adverse outcomes in behavior, learning, and possibly asthma management will make its identification and evaluation important aspects of any medical consultation in childhood."

Overall survey results indicated 10.5 percent of children snored four or more times a week, and 28 percent suffered from asthma. There was no difference in the prevalence of snoring between genders and no association with age. In addition, the prevalence of obesity in children who snored was slightly higher than in those who did not snore.

"We are constantly building the base of knowledge on chronic medical conditions in children. Understanding the interdependence of these chronic conditions and their link to nighttime cough is essential for effective medical treatment and disease management," said Udaya B. S. Prakash, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians.
CHEST is a peer-reviewed journal published by the ACCP. It is available on-line each month at ACCP represents more than 15,000 members who provide clinical, respiratory, and cardiothoracic patient care in the United States and throughout the world. ACCP's mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication.

American College of Chest Physicians

Related Asthma Articles from Brightsurf:

Breastfeeding and risks of allergies and asthma
In an Acta Paediatrica study, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months was linked with a lower risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age.

Researchers make asthma breakthrough
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options for people living with asthma.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

New knowledge on the development of asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways.

Eating fish may help prevent asthma
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia says an innovative study has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma.

Academic performance of urban children with asthma worse than peers without asthma
A new study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows urban children with poorly controlled asthma, particularly those who are ethnic minorities, also suffer academically.

Asthma Controller Step Down Yardstick -- treatment guidance for when asthma improves
The focus for asthma treatment is often stepping up treatment, but clinicians need to know how to step down therapy when symptoms improve.

Asthma management tools improve asthma control and reduce hospital visits
A set of comprehensive asthma management tools helps decrease asthma-related visits to the emergency department, urgent care or hospital and improves patients' asthma control.

Asthma linked to infertility but not among women taking regular asthma preventers
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them.

Read More: Asthma News and Asthma Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to