Snoring kids at increased depression risk

Preschoolers who snore are at an increased risk of developing mood disorders and are likely to have language and attention problems, say researchers.

“The results of our study bring out snoring as a possible risk factor for mood problems and cognitive impairment in children,” said lead researcher Eeva T. Aronen, M.D., Ph.D., of Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

During the study, the researchers looked at 43 preschoolers aged five, who snored and 46 children who did not snore. They found a higher rate of mood problems in kids who snored. The kids displayed symptoms of anxiety and depression. Overall, 22 per cent of snoring children had mood disorder symptoms, severe enough to warrant clinical evaluation, compared to 11 per cent of the children who did not snore.

However other types of problems, such as aggressive behaviour, were not frequent among children who snored. They also experienced sleep problems, such as nightmares, talking in their sleep, or difficulties going to bed. Cognitive tests also showed that kids who snored had decreased attention and language skills.

“This makes intervening possible before underachieving at school or before more difficult emotional and/or behavioral symptoms develop,” said the researchers. They suggest more research will be needed to evaluate effective treatments for young children with snoring.

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