Sleep Disturbances and Behavior Problems in Children With and Without Arthritis

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The study compared sleep disturbances and behavior problems in school-age children with and without juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Children 6-to-11 years of age, with (n = 70) and without (n = 46) JIA, and their parent participated. Parents completed questionnaires on sleep habits and behavior problems. Compared to control children, JIA children had significantly higher total sleep disturbances and higher scores on six of eight subscales. Sleep disturbances predicted externalizing behavior problems, controlling for age, medications, study group, and pain. Sleep disturbances such as, sleep disordered breathing are often overlooked or unrecognized in JIA and may contribute to behavioral problems.

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