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Epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome in Chinese children: a two-phase community study
  1. Albert M Li1,
  2. Hung K So1,
  3. Chun T Au1,
  4. Crover Ho2,
  5. Joseph Lau3,
  6. Siu K Ng4,
  7. Victor J Abdullah4,
  8. Tai F Fok1,
  9. Yun K Wing2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, Shatin Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  3. 3Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  4. 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yun Kwok Wing, Department of Psychiatry, 7th Floor, Shatin Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; ykwing{at}cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Objective To determine the prevalence and risk factors of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) in Chinese children using a two-phase community-based study design.

Methods Children from 13 primary schools were randomly recruited. A validated OSAS screening questionnaire was completed by their parents. Children at high risk of OSAS and a randomly chosen low-risk group were invited to undergo overnight polysomnographic study and clinical examination. The the sex-specific prevalence rate was measured using different cutoffs (obstructive apnoea hypopnoea index ≥1, ≥1.5, ≥3 and ≥5 and obstructive apnoea index ≥5) and risk factors associated with OSAS were evaluated with logistic regression.

Results 6447 completed questionnaires were returned (out of 9172 questionnaires; 70.3%). 586 children (9.1%; 405 boys and 181 girls) children belonged to the high-risk group. A total of 619 (410 and 209 from the high and low-risk group, respectively) subjects underwent overnight polysomnagraphy. Depending on the cutoffs, the prevalence rate of childhood OSAS varied from 4.8% to 40.3%. Using the International Criteria of Sleep Disorders version II, the OSAS prevalence for boys and girls was 5.8% and 3.8%, respectively. Male gender, body mass index z-score and increased adenoid and tonsil size were independently associated with OSAS.

Conclusions The prevalence rate of OSAS in children was contingent on the cutoff used. The inclusion of symptoms as a part of the diagnostic criteria greatly reduced the prevalence. A further prospective and outcome study is needed to define a clinically significant diagnostic cutoff for childhood OSAS.

  • Epidemiology
  • childhood OSAS
  • community study
  • sleep apnoea
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Footnotes

  • Funding This study was funded by grant CUHK4161/02M from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, China.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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