Caregiver perception of sleep-disordered breathing-associated symptoms in children of rural Andean communities above 4000 masl with chronic exposure to biomass fuel.

Accinelli RA, Llanos O, López LM, Matayoshi S, Oros YP, Kheirandish-Gozal L, Gozal D. Sleep Med. 2015 Jun;16(6):723-8.

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have uncovered a very high prevalence of sleep disorders in general, and of sleep-disordered breathing in particular among children exposed to indoor biomass fuel pollution. However, despite the significant symptomatology, parents are unlikely to report these issues during health-care visits.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine whether reduced caregiver perception of sleep disorders may account for the infrequent diagnosis and treatment of such problems in children residing at high altitudes and exposed to high biomass pollution.
METHODS: Parents of children aged 9-15 years of three communities residing in the Pasco region in Peru located between 3800 and 4200 meters above sea level were surveyed using a validated questionnaire instrument focused on symptoms associated with sleep-disordered breathing as well as whether caregivers perceived that their child suffered from a sleep disorder.
RESULTS: Among the 77 children included, 48.1% had nocturnal awakenings and 46.8% had repetitive movements and restless sleep. Habitual snoring was present in 33.8% of all children. However, only 10.4% of mothers considered that their children had sleep problems, and all of their children had positive answers for ≥4 sleep symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Children residing at high altitudes and exposed to traditional biomass-fueled stoves exhibit an extremely high frequency of sleep symptoms that are misperceived by their mothers as being “normal.” Interventions aimed at increasing parental recognition and awareness of sleep problems will be essential to foster improved diagnosis and treatment.

Ventana Científica. Diciembre 2015. Artículo 101
Caregiver perception of sleep-disordered breathing-associated symptoms in children of rural Andean communities above 4000 masl with chronic exposure to biomass fuel.

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