Sleep-Disordered Breathing, ADHD Are Linked in Teens

Article excerpt

DENVER -- Adolescents with symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing had a 2.5-fold increased prevalence of inattention-type attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the first large, population-based study to examine this relationship, Eric O. Johnson, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

In contrast, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) was not linked to hyperactivity-type ADHD in the survey of 1,014 Detroit-area youths aged 13-16 years and their parents, according to Dr. Johnson of the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit.

The observed association between SDB and inattention-type ADHD was independent of potential confounders including race, body mass index, the presence of conduct or oppositional defiant disorder, and asthma.

Participants were randomly selected from a large Detroit-area HMO. Computer-assisted structured interviews conducted separately with the teenager and one parent showed good concordance with regard to the presence of SDB.

Roughly 6% of the adolescents experienced the classic symptoms of loud snoring, periods of stopped breathing, and/or choking or gasping sounds during sleep at least once a week. The prevalence of SDB symptoms was twice as high among African American teenagers as among whites.

By the adolescents' own reports, 4. …