(HealthDay News) – Younger age is a significant predictor of weight gain following adenotonsillectomy (TA) for treatment of either obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or recurrent tonsillitis (RT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, held from Sept 9–12 in Washington, D.C.

Stacey Ishman, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 115 children undergoing TA at an urban tertiary-academic center (85 for OSA). Data gathered included demographic information, OSA disease severity, and pre- and three- to six-month postoperative normalized body mass index (BMI; z-scores).

The researchers found no significant differences between OSA and RT patients in mean age (7.2±4.3 and 7.3±4.4 years, respectively) or gender (38 and 50% female, respectively), but OSA patients were more likely than RT patients to be black (60 vs. 33%). Preoperative BMI z-score increased significantly from 0.98±1.5 to 1.21±1.25 in patients with both surgical indications. Age had a significant, negative correlation with changes in BMI z-scores.

“Parents with overweight adolescent children need not fear tonsillectomy, and those with younger, normal-weight and overweight children just really need to closely watch their child’s diet following surgery, and make caloric adjustments,” Ishman said in a statement.

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