Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children with Down Syndrome: Demographic, Clinical, and Polysomnographic Features

Bahir H. Chamseddin, Romaine F. Johnson, Ron B. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate demographic, clinical, and polysomnographic features of children with Down syndrome suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea. To identify factors that predict severe obstructive sleep apnea among children with Down syndrome. Study Design: Case series with chart review. Setting: Children’s Medical Center Dallas / University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Subject and Methods: Demographic, clinical, and polysomnographic data were collected for children with Down syndrome aged 2 to 18 years. Simple and multivariable regression models were used to study predictors of severe obstructive sleep apnea (apnea-hypopnea index ≥10). P≤.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 106 children with Down syndrome were included, with 89 (84%) <12 years old, 56 (53%) male, 72 (68%) Hispanic, 15 (14%) African American, and 14 (13%) Caucasian. Ninety percent of children had ≥1 medical comorbidities; 95 (90%) patients had obstructive sleep apnea; and 46 (44%) had severe obstructive sleep apnea. The mean SaO 2 nadir was lower among obese than nonobese children (80% vs 85%, P =.02). Obese versus nonobese patients had a higher prevalence of severe obstructive sleep apnea (56% vs 35%, P =.03). Severe OSA was associated with heavier weight (odds ratio = 1.0, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1, P =.002) and age ≥12 years (odds ratio = 1.2, 95% CI: 0.2-2.5, P =.02). The multivariable model showed that severe obstructive sleep apnea was associated only with weight (odds ratio = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1, P =.02). Conclusion: Obese children with DS are at a high risk for severe OSA, with weight as the sole risk factor. The results of this study show the importance of monitoring the weight of children with DS and counseling parents of children with DS about weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Down syndrome
  • obesity
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • pediatrics
  • polysomnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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