Ahmad Chahal, Rose Al Bacha, Kim Charro, Bassem Abou Merhi, Nada Sbeiti
Background: Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood, affecting approximately 7.53% of children in the Middle East. Symptoms that asthmatic children experience include coughing, chest tightness, dyspnea, and recurrent wheezing, with nightly and early morning symptoms being more prevalent. On the other hand, many studies have shown that children with insufficient, fragmented, or poor-quality sleep are prone to impulsivity, hyperactivity, and aggression, as well as problems with mood, academic performance, and neurocognitive functioning. Objective: To determine whether an association exists between wheezing as a symptom of asthma on one hand and disturbed sleep on the other hand in Lebanese children aged 5 to 15 years. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study done on school-aged children recruited in different schools across Lebanon. Two surveys were filled by their parents or guardians: the first one is the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire to investigate wheezing and asthma, and the second is the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ) to evaluate sleep quality. Results: 235 children were enrolled from five different schools in two regions in Lebanon. Of those diagnosed with asthma according to their parents/guardian (n=32), 16 had 1 to 3 nocturnal wheezing attacks during the last 12 months, 7 had 4 to 12 nocturnal wheezing attacks and the remaining 9 experienced no wheezing attacks during the last year. Delayed sleep onset latency, night waking’s and restless sleep were found to be associated with nocturnal wheezing attacks. Conclusion: An increased number of nocturnal wheezing attacks in asthmatic children are related to sleep disturbance and poor sleep quality. Future trials on how asthma treatment could improve sleep behavior in children are needed in Lebanon.
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