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Race Affects Sleep in Children

A new study shows Hispanic children are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders than white children.
Researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the University of Minnesota School of Medicine examined data from the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea study. The study consisted of more than 1,200 surveys completed by parents with children between ages 4 and 11. Parents were asked about their children’s sleeping habits and about any symptoms of sleep disorders.// More than 550 of the children studied were white and more than 650 were Hispanic.

Results of the study show more than 11 percent of Hispanic children snore, while less than 8 percent of white children snore. Daytime drowsiness was reported in nearly 10 percent of Hispanic children but only in 5.8 percent of white children. Sleep apnea was also more common in Hispanic children. The condition was reported in more than 4 percent of Hispanic children and in less than 2 percent of white children.

Parents of Hispanic children also reported more learning problems than those of white children. Boys were more likely to experience learning disabilities than girls. Regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, children with learning problems were more than twice as likely to snore and have excessive daytime sleepiness, than children without learning problems. Researchers say sleep disorders could be the main cause for many learning disabilities.

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