High prevalence of allergic sensitization in children with habitual snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Susanna A. McColley, John L. Carroll, Shelly Curtis, Gerald M. Loughlin, Hugh A. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Study objective: To determine whether allergic sensitization occurs frequently in children with habitual snoring and whether allergy predicts the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in snoring children. Design: Prospective study of 39 children with habitual snoring who were referred for polysomnography. Setting: Pediatric pulmonary sleep disorders clinic in a tertiary referral center. Measurements: Subjects underwent a complete history and physical examination. To assess for the presence of allergic sensitization, a multiantigen radioallergosorbent test (RAST) was performed on serum samples. Subjects then underwent nocturnal polysomnography to determine the presence and severity of OSAS. Results: Fourteen subjects (36%) demonstrated sensitivity to allergens; this is higher than expected for the general pediatric population. The frequency of OSAS was increased in subjects with positive RAST results compared to those with negative RAST results (57% vs 40%; χ2=9.11; p<0.01). Conclusion: Allergy is frequently present in pediatric patients with habitual snoring. Furthermore, the presence of allergy is associated with an increased risk of OSAS in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-173
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • allergy
  • habitual snoring
  • obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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