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Smoke Linked to Sleep Issues for Children With Asthma

Last Updated: January 18, 2010.

Children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke have more sleep problems, according to research published online Jan. 18 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) have more sleep problems, according to research published online Jan. 18 in Pediatrics.

Kimberly Yolton, Ph.D., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from 219 children, aged 6 to 12 years, with physician-diagnosed asthma that had been recently treated. All children were exposed to SHS from at least five cigarettes at home each day. Children's cotinine levels were assessed, and caregivers responded to the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire.

The researchers found that greater SHS exposure was associated with longer delays to sleep onset, more frequent parasomnias and sleep-disordered breathing, more daytime sleepiness, and more overall sleep disturbance.

"The consequences of inadequate sleep in children are not trivial. Sleep disturbances have been linked with increased behavior problems, mental health problems, and poor school performance in children. In addition, effects of poor sleep in childhood can persist into adulthood in the form of obesity and behavior and mood disorders. Reduction in SHS exposure is an area with the potential for significant impact for physical and emotional health and school performance in the pediatric population," the authors conclude.

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