Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) did not associate with hyperactive type of ADHD – this was confirmed in the survey of 1.014 youngsters in the Detroit area of ages 13-16 and their parents. These data were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
Association of SDB with inattention type of ADHD was independent from other behavior problems that might go along with hyperactivity.
Statistically, about 6% of adolescents experienced the classic symptoms of sleep apnea: loud snoring, periods of stopped breathing, and/or chocking or gasping sounds during sleep. The prevalence of SDB symptoms was twice as high, according to the study, among African American teenagers as among whites. ADHD was found in about 4.5% according to self-reports by teens and 7.5% according to the reports by their parents.
It is interesting that in adults, obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is also associated with inattention, not hyperactivity.
The new Detroit survey, funded by the National Institute of Health, suggests that by the time children with SDB reach the age of 13-16, the dominant manifestation has shifted from hyperactivity to inattention.
Several questions are still not clear. Is SDB causing inattention or inattentive type of ADHD is prone to SDB? Is hypoxia during sleep affecting alertness and memory?
In any case, if your teenager has ADHD or loud snoring – contact the doctor before this pattern is fixed.
Reference: Pediatric News. January 2006:11