Anthropometric and dental measurements in children with obstructive sleep apnea

David F. Smith, Nicholas M. Dalesio, James R. Benke, John A. Petrone, Veronica Vigilar, Aliza P. Cohen, Stacey L. Ishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: A number of authors have shown that children with OSA are more likely to have certain physical characteristics than healthy controls. With this in mind, our objectives were to collect normative baseline data and determine if there was a significant difference in anthropometric and dental measurements between children with OSA and age-matched nonsnoring controls. Methods: Children 2 to 12 y of age, in whom OSA was diagnosed by overnight polysomnography, were recruited to our experimental group. Age-matched nonsnoring controls were screened for signs of sleep-disordered breathing. Anthropometric measurements, including waist, neck, and hip circumferences, and waist-hip and neck-waist ratios, were obtained on all study participants preoperatively. Dental casts were acquired to determine intertooth distances and palatal height. Results: Sixty-one children (42 with OSA [69%] and 19 controls [31%]) with a mean age of 4.7 y participated in the study. Waist and hip circumferences were significantly larger in children with OSA (p = 0.001 and 0.001, respectively). However, there was no difference in neck circumference and waist-hip ratios between the two groups. Neck-waist ratio in children with OSA was significantly smaller than in controls (p = 0.001). Intertooth distance for the first (p < 0.0001) and second deciduous (p = 0.0002) and first permanent molars (p = 0.022) were significantly narrowed in children with OSA; however, no difference was seen in palatal height between groups. Body mass index was similar between groups (p = 0.76). Conclusions: Anthropometric and dental measurements were significantly different in children with OSA compared to nonsnorers. Future studies with a large sample size may allow us to determine if these measurements can be used by clinicians to identify children at risk for OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1284
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2016


  • Anthropometric measurements
  • Dental casts
  • Dental measurements
  • Pediatric OSA
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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