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Sleep-Disordered Breathing

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Once again we have one of those vague medical terms. This time it is sleep-disordered breathing.

The definition is actually not that complicated. Sleep-disordered breathing is snoring, mouth breathing and apnea or abnormally long pauses in breathing during sleep. We know this can affect anyone, but a recent study shows that particularly in very young children there can be long term concerns.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine working with scientists at Yeshiva University looked at information provided by parents of more than 11,000 children in a longitudinal study and it showed that sleep-disordered breathing in relatively young children, and even in infants, often precedes behavioral problems in those children at 4 and 7 years of age.

This does not mean that there has to be a problem. But studies like this help parents and physicians have a chance to look at issues early and make interventions in sleeping issues if possible.