Evid Based Med 18:77-78 doi:10.1136/eb-2012-100821
  • Prognosis
  • Cohort study

Parent-reported sleep-disordered breathing symptoms early in life predict childhood behavioural problems at age 4 and 7 years

  1. Luci Wiggs2
  1. 1Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Alice M Gregory
    Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK; a.gregory{at}

Commentary on:


Longitudinal studies suggest that various sleep disturbances predict emotional and behavioural difficulties, as well as neuropsychological functioning and possibly even obesity. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB), the focus of this manuscript, may be associated with sleep impairment as well as atypical gas-exchange, which could impact negatively on the prefrontal cortex. Alarmingly, it has been suggested that SDB could lead to brain damage—underscoring the need to further understand the links between SDB and behaviour. The current report does just that, by prospectively examining SDB symptom trajectories in children aged 6–69 months and associations with behaviour at 4 and 7 years of age.


This study focuses on prospective data collected on children involved in the large-scale, population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Initially, 14 541 …

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