Sleep and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in a Community-Based Survey of Children

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We examined whether gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms were associated with sleep disturbances in a community-based sample of 337 school-aged children from Ypsilanti, Michigan. Parents completed the sleep-related breathing disorder scale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire and the Conners’ parents rating scale, which included questions concerning GI symptoms. One fifth of the children screened positive for sleep-disordered breathing; the same fraction had sleepiness, and one-quarter snored more than half the time. Similarly, one quarter of children had 2 or more GI symptoms. Children with positive sleep-disordered breathing scores were 2.22 times as likely to have 2 or more GI symptoms in the past month after confounder adjustment (95% confidence interval = 1.39-3.55). In particular, this relationship appeared to be driven by daytime sleepiness, as children with sleepiness had about a 2-fold higher prevalence of 2 or more GI symptoms (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.96, 95% confidence interval = 1.18-3.26). Neither snoring nor sleep duration were associated with GI symptoms.

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