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Keywords:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy;
  • Immobility;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Steroid therapy

Abstract

Aim:  Determine the frequency and predictors of sleep disorders in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Method:  Cross-sectional study by postal questionnaire. Sleep disturbances were assessed using the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (validated on 1157 healthy children). A total sleep score and six sleep disturbance factors representing the most common sleep disorders were computed. Potential associations between pathological scores and personal, medical and environmental factors were assessed.

Results:  Sixteen of 63 boys (25.4%) had a pathological total sleep score compared with 3% in the general population. The most prevalent sleep disorders were disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS) 29.7%, sleep-related breathing disorders 15.6% and sleep hyperhydrosis 14.3%.

On multivariate analysis, pathological total sleep scores were associated with the need to be moved by a carer (OR = 9.4; 95%CI: 2.2–40.7; p = 0.003) and being the child of a single-parent family (OR = 7.2; 95%CI: 1.5–35.1; p = 0.015) and DIMS with the need to be moved by a carer (OR = 18.0; 95%CI: 2.9–110.6; p = 0.002), steroid treatment (OR = 7.7; 95%CI: 1.4–44.0; p = 0.021) and being the child of a single-parent family (OR = 7.0; 95%CI: 1.3–38.4; p = 0.025).

Conclusion:  Sleep disturbances are frequent in boys with DMD and are strongly associated with immobility. Sleep should be systematically assessed in DMD to implement appropriate interventions.