(HealthDay News) – Persistent, loud snoring in young children aged 2–3 years is associated with higher rates of behavior problems.

Dean W. Beebe, PhD, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from 249 mother/child pairs in a prospective birth cohort. Children’s snoring at age 2–3 years was classified based on parental report of loud snoring ≥2 weeks. The link between snoring and behavioral and cognitive development was examined, and predictors of snoring were investigated.

For persistent snorers, the researchers noted significantly higher reported overall behavior problems, particularly hyperactivity, depression, and inattention. Significantly stronger cognitive development was seen in non-snorers than transient and persistent snorers, but the association did not persist after demographic adjustment. The presence and persistence of snoring were most strongly predicted by lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breastfeeding. Race was suggested to modify the association between childhood tobacco smoke exposure and snoring.

“These results support routine screening and tracking of snoring, especially in children from low socioeconomic backgrounds; referral for follow-up care of persistent snoring in young children; and encouragement and facilitation of infant breastfeeding,” the authors write.

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