Our objective was to investigate the occurrence of sleep-related breathing disturbances in a large cohort of
school-aged children in Southern Italy, and to evaluate the association with anthropometric data and clinical findings of
oropharynx and nasal airways. Study design: A two-phase cross-sectional study was conducted with children from schools
in Turi, Italy.
A screening phase aimed to identify symptomatic children and clinical data from a
cohort of 495 children by a self-administered questionnaire, and an instrumental phase for the definition of sleep-related
disorders and clinical analysis of oral status were performed. According to the answers, children were classified into 3
groups: habitual snorers, occasional snorers, and non-snorers. All habitual snoring children underwent a
polysomnographic home evaluation, and those with oxygen desaturation index (ODI) > 2 were considered for nocturnal
polygraphic monitoring (NPM). Children with apnoea/ hypopnea index (AHI) > 3 received a diagnosis of obstructive sleep
apnoea syndrome (OSAS). Moreover, a complete oral examination was performed.
A total of 436 questionnaires
(response rate: 88.08) were returned and scored (202 M, 234 F; Mean age Standard deviation: 6.2
1.8); 18 children (4) were identified as habitual snorers, 140 children (32) were identified as occasional
snorers, and 278 children (64) were identified as non-snorers. The percentage of female children who were habitual
snorers was higher than the percentage of male children (4.7 vs 3.6). Habitual snorers had significantly
more nighttime symptoms. OSAS was diagnosed in 2 children by NPM. A statistically significant association between
snoring, cross-bite, open-bite and increased over-jet was found.
Habitual snoring and OSAS are significant
problems for children and may be associated with diurnal symptoms. The presence of malocclusion increases the likelihood
of sleep-related breathing disturbances.
Vol.11 – n.4/2010
Harvard: A. P. Cazzolla, V. Lacarbonara, B. Pellegrino, N. F. Testa, F. Fidanza, M. G. Lacaita (2010) "Sleep-Disordered Breathing in a sample of 495 children in Southern Italy", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 11(4), pp189-192. doi:
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