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The prevalence of sleepiness and the risk of sleep-disordered breathing in children with positive allergy test


  • Presented at the 69th Annual Meeting American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, September 24-25, 2010, Boston, MA

  • Potential conflict of interest: None provided.



We evaluated the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and sleepiness in children with allergy and compared sleep-specific quality of life measures to those of children without allergy.


A prospective case-control study was done at a tertiary care academic center. The parents of 21 pediatric patients with positive environmental allergy testing completed questionnaires including the Obstructive Sleep Apnea-18 (OSA18), the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ), and the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale (PDSS). Comparisons were made to 113 children without allergy who had undergone cochlear implantation (CI) who served as controls.


SDB was suggested in 19% of children with allergy using the OSA18 and in 29% using the PSQ vs 6% and 7% of controls (p = 0.029; p = 0.003), respectively. In addition, daytime sleepiness was suggested in 45% to 48% of children with allergy using the PSQ and PDSS vs 17% to 25% of controls (p = 0.015; p = 0.025), respectively. Patients with allergy had SDB and sleepiness scores higher than population normal values: OSA-18 of 41.7 vs 34.0, PSQ-SDB of 0.25 vs 0.14, PSQ-Sleepy of 0.34 vs 0.15, and PDSS of 14.2 vs 11.4. The difference between cases and controls was significant for all measures of sleepiness and SDB.


Children with allergy have higher SDB and sleepiness scores than controls. This suggests that children with allergic rhinitis are at increased risk for SDB and screening should be considered in this population. In addition, studies with a larger sample size are important to fully understand this relationship. © 2011 ARS-AAOA, LLC.