Prenatal, Perinatal, and Early Childhood Factors Associated with Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Ting Chen, Mary E. Hughes, Hongjian Wang, Guoying Wang, Xiumei Hong, Li Liu, Yuelong Ji, Colleen Pearson, Shenghui Li, Lingxin Hao, Xiaobin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood factors, including cord and early childhood plasma leptin, on a clinical diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among children in the Boston Birth Cohort. Study design: We conducted a secondary analysis of 2867 mother–child pairs from the Boston Birth Cohort who were enrolled between 1998 and 2014 at Boston Medical Center and followed from birth to age 16 years. Child's OSA was defined based on clinical diagnoses documented in the medical record. Plasma leptin was measured in cord and early childhood blood samples. Logistic regression was used to examine individual and combined effects of early life factors on the risk of OSA, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The mean age of the study children was 6.39 years (SD = 3.77); 49.3% were girls, and 209 (7.3%) had ever been diagnosed with OSA. Four significant risk factors for OSA were identified: maternal obesity/diabetes during pregnancy (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.21-2.21; P = .001), preterm/low birth weight (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.30-2.32; P < .001), early childhood obesity (OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.37-2.62; P < .001), and high leptin levels in early childhood (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.22-3.09; P = .005). The presence of all these 4 risk factors significantly amplified the odds of OSA by about 10 times (OR, 9.95; 95% CI, 3.42-28.93; P < .001) compared with those lacking these factors. Conclusions: Our findings, if further confirmed, provide new insight into the early life risk factors of pediatric OSA and underscore the need for early screening and prevention of OSA among children with those risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27.e10
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • OSA
  • leptin
  • low birth weight
  • obesity
  • preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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