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Why kids breathe easier in summer
Date:9/17/2013

sordered breathing in children can cause stunted growth, heart disease, and neurocognitive problems associated with diminished school performance, impaired language development, and behavioral issues.

In their study, Dr. Tauman and her Sackler Faculty of Medicine colleagues Michal Greenfeld and Yakov Sivan statistically analyzed the cases of more than 2,000 children and adolescents who were referred to the sleep center to be tested for suspected sleep-disordered breathing between 2008 and 2010. Confirming earlier results of a 2011 study of five- to nine-year-olds, the researchers found that pediatric sleep-disordered breathing is worse in the winter which in Israel they defined as from November to March than in the summer. The seasonal variability is most apparent in children less than five years old, they found.

The researchers also found that wheezing and asthma do not contribute to the trend.

Based on their findings, the researchers speculate that viral respiratory infections which are more prevalent in younger children and during colder months are the major contributor to the seasonal variability seen in pediatric sleep-disordered breathing.

Taking the long view

If the sleep clinic tests had all been conducted in the winter, the researchers estimate that seven percent more children would have been diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing. Seven percent fewer would have been diagnosed if all the tests had been done in the summer, they estimate.

"Our study suggests that if a child comes into the sleep laboratory in the winter with a mild case, I may consider not treating him. I can assume he will be better in the summer," said Tauman. "But if he has only mild symptoms in the summer, I can assume they are more severe in the winter."


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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