Long-term health and socioeconomic outcome of obstructive sleep apnea in children and adolescents

Poul Jennum, Mathias Rejkjær-Knudsen, Rikke Ibsen, Eva Kirkegaard Kiaer, Christian von Buchwald, Jakob Kjellberg


BACKGROUND: There is limited information about the long-term outcome of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosed in children and adolescents for educational and social factors. Here, we estimate the long-term socioeconomic outcome and health care costs of OSA.

METHODS: The historical case-control cohort study included Danish individuals with OSA diagnosed in childhood or adolescence between 1994 and 2015. Health care costs and socioeconomic data were obtained from nationwide administrative and health registers. A total of 5419 were diagnosed during this period; of these we traced 1004 patients who we compared with 4085 controls (mean index age, 10.2 years; Standard Deviation (SD), 5.6 years) until the age of 20 years. Controls were matched for age, gender, and residency.

RESULTS: Comparing the OSA patient and control groups at age 20 years we found: 1) lower parental educational level; 2) significantly lower educational level also after adjustment for parental educational level; 3) lower school grade-point averages; 4) lower employment rate and lower income, which was not fully compensated when transfer payments were considered; and 5) patients' initial health care costs were higher due to higher morbidity. Patients showed higher mortality rates than controls (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 7.63, 95% CI = 4.87-11.95, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: OSA in children and adolescent is associated with a significant influence on morbidity, mortality, educational level, grading, social outcome, and welfare consequences.

TidsskriftSleep Medicine
Sider (fra-til)441-447
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2020


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