Children With Sleep Apnea Are At High Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : May 24, 2021

Sleep apnea is also spelled as apnoea, which is a sleeping disorder in which it causes a pause breathing or shortage of breath or shallow breathing for a short time which is normal. Each pause can last for few seconds to few minutes and happen many times at night. This is then followed by snoring, and when the breathing resumes, there may be a choking or snorting sound. Adults with disorders can experience sleeplessness or feel tired. Children with the same disorders can be hyperactive or face difficulties in school. 

Children With Sleep Apnea Are At High Risk Of High Blood Pressure

There are two different types of Sleep apnea. One is obstructive sleep apnea that is the breathing gets interrupted due to the blockage of the airway, and the other one is central sleep apnea, in which regularly unconscious breath stops simply. The treatment for the above disorder may include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and surgery. The lifestyle changes may be avoiding alcohol, losing weight, quit smoking, and sleeping on one’s side. Breathing devices also include a CPAP machine. With the proper use of a CPAP device, one can overcome this problem of breathing. Only 15% of the countries in the entire world use CPAP or breathing devices and in the developing countries, only 1% of them adopt using this device.

Children With Sleep Apnea Are At High Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is also known as High Blood Pressure, a long-term medical condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. There are no prior symptoms of high blood pressure, but unmonitored long term high blood pressure can lead to stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia. High blood pressure can be classified into primary and secondary blood pressure. 90-95% of cases are primary blood pressure which is caused by poor lifestyle and genetic factors. The lifestyle factors that increase the risk factors are an increase in salt intake, excess body weight, smoking, alcohol use. The remaining 5%-10% of the cases are secondary high blood pressure which is due to an identified cause such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney stones, and many more.

As per the reports of the American Heart Association, children with obstructive sleep apnea who will not outgrow from the disorder are at high risk of high blood pressure when they reach teenage compared to those who do have a breathing problem. The studies also found that children whose sleep apnea disappears in adolescence don’t have the risk of high blood pressure.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, when the breathing is paused during sleep and the high blood pressure is linked. And few researchers also looked at the long-term effects, and the results were found to be there are three types of sleep apnea. The academy estimates about 30 million adults went undiagnosed. But it also affects kids. There was a new study conducted where 421 children were monitored overnight who were between the age of 5 – 12 years, and it was found that 12% of children suffered from mild obstructive sleep apnea.

After a seven-year follow-up, most of the children between the age group 12 – 19 years outgrow the disorder, and it was more than half of the children outgrew the disorder. After considering the factors such as sex, age, ethnicity, level of obesity, and whether the children have tonsils or adenoids removed, researchers found that children whose sleep apnea did not outgrow even in adolescence had 2.9 fold higher odds of having high blood pressure when compared to the children who did not have the above-mentioned problems. It was also found out the if the children suffered sleep apnea in teenage, there were like 1.7 times more chances to have the risk of high blood pressure.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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