There are a number of reasons why identifying obstructive sleep apnea in infants is difficult, but new research shows feeding dysfunction could be an early link.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be extremely difficult to identify and diagnose in infants.
For older children, symptoms like hyperactivity could clue doctors into whether or not they may be suffering from the disorder. However, because infants by nature sleep for long periods of time, noticing such symptoms can be difficult, if not impossible.
Another issue for diagnosing infants is that older children can be diagnosed in a sleep test, which is also difficult for infants.
In a retrospective chart review planned for presentation at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2020 International Conference, investigators from the Riley Children’s Hospital at Indiana University Health, identified the demographics and comorbidities linked to OSA in infants.
After evaluating 578 infants, 324 of which diagnosed with OSA, investigators discovered the individuals with sleep apnea were decidedly younger, female, and more likely to be African American.
Infants with obstructive sleep apnea also had a significantly higher prevalence of reported snoring or difficult breathing when compared to infants without obstructive sleep apnea.
In an interview with HCPLive®, Anuja Bandyopadhyay, MD, Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Riley Children’s Hospital, explained how demographics can be the first clue to diagnosing infants and what else doctors should look for and how they can treat infants diagnosed with the disorder.