Early lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) have been shown to have a critical role in the development of juvenile respiratory disorders in many birth cohorts. However, no link has been shown between early LRTI and childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). According to a study published in the journal SLEEP, researchers at Children’s National Hospital have discovered a link between early LRTI and OSA development in children for the first time.. “Children’s National Medical Center’s director of sleep medicine, Dr. Gustavo Nino, believes these findings indicate that the respiratory syncytial virus LRTI may contribute to the pathogenesis of OSA in children.
Furthermore, regardless of other risk factors, children with a history of severe RSV bronchiolitis in the first five years of life had a twofold higher chance of developing OSA. RSV LRTI may contribute to the pathophysiology of OSA in children, according to the study’s findings, which raises the question of whether primary preventive measures may really delay the onset of OSA after early viral LRTIs. When it comes to decreasing the growing prevalence of OSA in children and avoiding its harmful consequences on their health and beyond, “primary prevention of OSA in children would be significant.” The new findings also suggest that novel anticipatory strategies and interventions can be developed to identify and prevent the initial establishment of OSA following viral respiratory infections in early infancy, resulting in a significant reduction in the increasing incidence of this condition and its numerous negative effects on children’s health and beyond.
“According to Dr. Nino, our research provides a novel paradigm for examining processes involved in the early etiology of OSA in children. It was also agreed upon by Dr. Marishka Brown of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), who is the head of the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research. Research from this research suggests a link between childhood viruses and sleep disturbed breathing later in life, according to Brown. A greater knowledge of how sleep apnea develops in young patients may be found via further study into how these infections influence airway function. Funding for this investigation comes from the National Institutes of Health, as well as the NHLBI.
Journal Reference: Maria J Gutierrez, Gustavo Nino, Jeremy S Landeo-Gutierrez, Miriam R Weiss, Diego A Preciado, Xiumei Hong, Xiaobin Wang. Lower respiratory tract infections in early life are associated with obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis during childhood in a large birth cohort. Sleep, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsab198