In children, loud snoring tends to spike between 2- and-3-years of age. For most school-age children, traditional understanding has associated loud snoring with behavioral problems, but a new study has shown that there are environmental and socioeconomic factors as well.
Roughly 12 percent of all children (ages 1-9) worldwide experience habitual snoring, reports MedicalNewsToday. Though the condition is associated with behavioral problems ,a new study in the August issue of Pediatrics shows that higher socioeconomic status and a history of breastfeeding are also associated, albeit with lower rates of persistent snoring in young children.
For the study, 249 mother/child pairs participated. Each child was between 2- and-3-years of age and were reported to snore roughly twice each week. Children were sorted into categories: nonsnorers, transient snorers (which means they snored at age 2 or age 3, but not both years), and persistent snorers (children who snored at both ages). Researchers then compared groups based on behavioral and cognitive functioning and evaluated potential predictors of snoring like race, gender, socioeconomic status of the parent or parents, birth weight, prenatal tobacco exposure, childhood tobacco exposure, history, and even how long each child was breastfed.
They found that persistent snorers had significantly higher behavioral problems (particularly hyperactivity, depression, and inattention) than other groups. Nonsnorers showed stronger cognitive development than other groups. The strongest predictors of the presence and persistence of snoring were lower socioeconomic status and a short duration of breast milk feeding, or non-existent breast milk feeding.
In conclusion, researchers encourage the facilitation of infant breastfeeding and strengthen the link between persistent snoring and behavioral problems. As the researchers conclude, “Screening is particularly important for children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds,” continuing, “our ﬁndings support recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the prevention of tobacco smoke exposure and encouragement and facilitation of breastfeeding of infants.”