"The intricate interdependencies between BMI, SDB and cognition shown in our study are of particular importance in children, as their brains are still rapidly developing," says study author Karen Spruyt, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Pritzer School of Medicine.
"Rising rates of obesity in children may amplify these relationships. Public health campaigns targeting obesity should emphasize not only the health benefits but the potential educational benefits of losing weight."
The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
According to Dr. Spruyt, "SDB amplified the risk of adverse cognitive and weight outcomes, while weight amplified the risk of SDB and adverse cognitive outcomes. Impaired cognitive functioning was associated with an increased risk of adverse weight outcomes and SDB."
In contrast, she noted, "good cognitive abilities may be protective against increased body weight and SDB."
The study enrolled 351 schoolchildren (mean age 7.9 years) in Louisville, Kentucky, who underwent neurocognitive testing with the Differential Abilities Scale following an overnight polysomnogram or sleep study. SDB was measured with the obstructive apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), defined as the number of apnea and hypopneas per hour of total sleep time. Anthropometric measurements included body mass index (BMI). Data were analyzed by Structural Equation Modeling, a statistical technique for testing and estimating causal relations between the variables of interest.
Models using "sleep-disordered breathing" revealed a substantive mediator role of SDB on the relationship between BMI and cognitive performance, with SDB increasing both adverse cognitive and adverse weight outcomes. In analyses using "weight," BMI increased the risks of adverse SDB and cognitive outcomes. Finally, in models using "cognition" as the mediator, the poor ability to perform complex mental processing functions was shown to increase the risk of adverse weight and SDB outcomes.
"The mediator roles of weight and SDB were comparable, both adversely affecting cognitive functioning." Dr. Spruyt noted. "Poorer integrative mental processing may also increase the risk of adverse health outcomes."
The study had some limitations. The study included only normally developing children, limiting generalization of the results to more impaired populations. The authors also note that inclusion of children with more severe SDB might have altered the magnitude of the mediation effects.
"Along with campaigns targeting childhood obesity," Dr. Spruyt adds, "screening for SDB in overweight children and children with learning difficulties may be justified based on our results."
About the American Journal of Respiratory Research and Critical Care Medicine:
With an impact factor of 10.191, the AJRRCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society. It aims to publish the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in the pulmonary, critical care and sleep-related fields. Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy.
Nathanial Dunford | EurekAlert!
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy