MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Toddlers who snore persistently are more likely to have behavior problems, such as hyperactivity, depression and attention issues, during the day than their non-snoring peers, new research indicates.
The study also looked at factors that might contribute to or protect against snoring in this young age group, and they found one was strongly protective: breast-feeding. Factors that made persistent snoring more likely included low socioeconomic status, race and exposure to environmental smoke, said study author Dean Beebe, director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
"Snoring is cute in comics or cartoons, but in reality it's not normal for kids to snore for weeks or months on end," said Beebe, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics.
"Snoring can disrupt the quality of sleep, and a tired toddler has a much lower tolerance for frustration. When you add chronicity to the problem, over time, that lack of sleep sets up negative interactions within the toddler's environment, which may change the way they respond," Beebe explained. "This is a developing brain. The connections that are made and retained are about their experiences. A lack of sleep could fundamentally alter those experiences."
Results of the study were published online Aug. 13 and in the September print issue of Pediatrics.
Beebe's study included 249 children who were involved in a prospective study that followed the children's health from birth. Their mothers let the researchers know how often the children snored when they were 2 and again when they were 3.
Of participants, 170 children were non-snorers. Their mothers said they rarely snored at either age. Fifty-seven children were transient snorers. Their mothers reported loud snoring more than twice a week either when they were 2 or 3, but not at both ti
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