Primary snoring in school children: prevalence and neurocognitive impairments


Working Group on Paediatric Sleep Medicine, Department of Neonatology, University Children’s Hospital, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.



We aimed to investigate the prevalence of primary snoring (PS) and its association with neurocognitive impairments.


Data from a community-based study in 1,114 primary school children were used to identify children who never (N = 410) or habitually snored (N = 114). In order to separate children with PS from those with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) or obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), home polysomnography was conducted in all habitually snoring children. Neurocognitive impairments and poor school performance were compared between children who never snored, PS, and UARS/OSA.


Polysomnography was successfully conducted in 92 habitual snorers. Of these, 69 and 23 had PS and UARS/OSA, respectively. Prevalence [95% confidence interval (95% CI)] of PS was 6.1% (4.5-7.7). Compared to children who had never snored, children with PS had more hyperactive (39% vs. 20%) and inattentive behaviour (33% vs. 11%), as well as poor school performance in mathematics (29% vs. 16%), science (23% vs. 12%), and spelling (33% vs. 20%; all P values <0.05). PS was a significant risk factor (odds ratio; 95% CI) for hyperactive behaviour (2.8; 1.6-4.8), inattentive behaviour (4.4; 2.4-8.1), as well as daytime sleepiness (10.7; 4.0-28.4). PS was also an independent risk factor for poor school performance in mathematics (2.6; 1.2-5.8), science (3.3; 1.2-8.8), and spelling (2.5; 1.1-5.5). Odds ratios throughout were similar to the UARS/OSA group.


Children with non-hypoxic, non-apnoeic PS may exhibit significant neurocognitive impairments. Consequences may be similar to those associated with UARS or OSA. If confirmed, PS is not “benign” and may require treatment.

Sleep Breath. 2011 Jan 16.

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of a Sleep Bruxism Monitor in a dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is a senior brand manager for Glidewell Dental Laboratory his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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