Does your child snore? It could be a harmless (and cute) quirk, or it could be a sign of a dangerous illness.
Sleep apnea can cause behavioral, metabolic and respiratory problems for kids. Up to 3% of kids suffer from this illness. In the past it’s been hard to diagnose.
Researchers at the University of Chicago are looking to change that with a new urine test that will diagnose the disorder. Sleep researchers at the University looked at children’s urine the morning after a sleep study and found that children suffering from sleep apnea had different concentrations of proteins in their urine than those who did not snore dangerously.
Based on this, they believe they can develop a simple color-based urine test, similar to a pregnancy test. The test could be used by doctors or parents to screen children for sleep apnea.
Currently, diagnoses is done by keeping kids overnight in a sleep clinic. There are long waitlists for the service, and it is very expensive.
The presence of different proteins in the children’s urine also reveals new information about the disease. It suggests that kid’s kidneys and renal functions are being affected by the snoring disorder.
Obese children are at higher risk for sleep apnea, as are those with larger tonsils.
Photo: Samiksha Kanchankar