Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-study-shows-childhood-obstructive-sleep-apnoea-increases-the-risk-of-hypertension-in-adulthood
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-study-shows-childhood-obstructive-sleep-apnoea-increases-the-risk-of-hypertension-in-adulthood

CU Medicine Study Shows Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Increases the Risk of Hypertension in Adulthood

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea study

CU Medicine published the world’s first longitudinal 10-year follow-up study to evaluate the natural history and long-term impact of childhood obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on blood pressure outcomes in adulthood. Results showed compared to those who did not have OSA in childhood, children with moderate to severe OSA are 2.5 times more likely to get hypertension when they grow into young adulthood, increasing their risks of having cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases in the long run. (From right) Professor Albert Martin LI, Chairman; Dr. Kate Ching Ching CHAN, Clinical Professional Consultant and Dr. Jun Chun Ting AU, Research Assistant Professor of the Department of Paediatrics at CU Medicine.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that affects all ages, including young children. The Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) published the world’s first longitudinal 10-year follow-up study to evaluate the natural history and long-term impact of childhood OSA on blood pressure outcomes in adulthood. Results showed childhood OSA is an independent risk factor for higher blood pressure in adulthood. Compared to those who did not have OSA in childhood, children with moderate to severe OSA are 2.5 times more likely to get hypertension when they grow into young adulthood, increasing their risks of having cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases in the long run. The findings were published in world’s leading respiratory medicine journal Thorax.

 

5% of school-aged children in Hong Kong suffer from OSA

OSA is a common form of sleep-disordered breathing. It happens when the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing or hypopnoeas. The pause in breathing may occur many times in a night, disrupting the child’s sleep. In children, the most common cause for such a blockage is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Untreated patients have higher risk of cardiovascular, metabolic or neurobehavioural complications. A previous CU Medicine study estimated about 5% of school-aged children in Hong Kong are affected by OSA.

 

Professor Albert Martin LI, Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics, CU Medicine elaborated, “OSA is common in children but often unrecognised. Snoring, night sweats and mouth breathing are some common symptoms of OSA. Other symptoms are daytime inattention, hyperactivity, sleepiness, and behavioural problems. It could be difficult for parents to associate these symptoms with sleep disorder, we therefore suggest to them that they seek medical advice if they find their children with these conditions. We also suggest that paediatricians routinely ask about OSA symptoms in their clinical practice.”  

 

Dr. Jun Chun Ting AU, Research Assistant Professor of the Department of Paediatrics, CU Medicine said, “Blood pressure follows a circadian rhythm, with 10% to 15% lower values during sleep than during wakefulness. Previous studies have demonstrated that OSA patients, both children and adults, have higher blood pressure, especially during sleep, when compared to healthy individuals. Higher blood pressure during childhood precedes the development of hypertension in adulthood and will worsen cardiovascular prognosis. Therefore, their blood pressure has to be closely monitored in order to maintain good cardiac health, especially in children whom there will be a long-term effect.”  

 

Prof. Albert Martin LI

Professor Albert Martin LI says snoring, night sweats and mouth breathing are some common symptoms of OSA. Other symptoms are daytime inattention, hyperactivity, sleepiness, and behavioural problems. It might be difficult for parents to associate these symptoms with sleep disorder, he therefore suggests them to seek medical advice if they find their children with these conditions.

Dr. Jun AU

Dr. Jun AU says overnight polysomnography is a standard diagnostic tool for childhood OSA. It collects a range of physical data such as electroencephalography, electromyography and electrocardiography to evaluate the level of sleep obstruction.

CU Medicine was first to examine the effect of childhood OSA on adulthood blood pressure

CU Medicine’s Paediatrics Sleep Research Team conducted the world’s first longitudinal 10-year follow-up study to evaluate the natural history and long-term impact of childhood OSA on blood pressure outcomes. The team invited subjects from a cohort established between 2003 and 2005 for a childhood OSA epidemiological study to undergo overnight polysomnography and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. A total of 243 participants attended the follow-up visit.

 

The mean age was 9.8 years at baseline and 20.2 years at follow-up, with a mean duration of 10.4 years. Below are the major findings:  

 

Baseline status

Normal

(98 individuals)

Primary snoring

(49 individuals)

Mild OSA

(75 individuals)

Moderate-to-severe OSA

(21 individuals)

Relative risk of having hypertension at follow-up

(95% Confidence Interval)

Reference group

1.9 (0.9 - 4.2)

1.5 (0.7 - 3.0)

2.5 (1.2 - 5.3)

Dr. Kate Ching Ching CHAN, Clinical Professional Consultant of the Department of Paediatrics, CU Medicine said, “Our study showed childhood OSA is an independent risk factor for higher blood pressure in adulthood compared to those who did not have OSA in childhood. Children with moderate to severe OSA are 2.5 times more likely to get hypertension when they grow into young adulthood, which will increase their risks of having cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases in the long run. Diagnosis and early treatment of childhood OSA may help to reduce the healthcare burden related to cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases.”

 

Dr. Kate Chan
 
“For the way forward, our research team will launch an 18 to 20-year study on this cohort to trace the long term health impact of OSA on a person,” she added.

 

 

More Press Releases

CUHK Introduces Nasal Strip Sampling for COVID-19 Test As a Superior Tool for Surveillance in a Wide Age-Range Population

CUHK Introduces Nasal Strip Sampling for COVID-19 Test As a Superior Tool for Surveillance in a Wide Age-Range Population

Research
CUHK Study Sees Shorter Sleep Put Adolescents at Risk of Future Cardiovascular Diseases

CUHK Study Sees Shorter Sleep Put Adolescents at Risk of Future Cardiovascular Diseases

Research
CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being  “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

Research
CUHK Recommends Oral Glucose Tolerance Test for All Pregnant Women Study Reveals Children of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Have 3-Fold Diabetes Risk

CUHK Recommends Oral Glucose Tolerance Test for All Pregnant Women Study Reveals Children of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Have 3-Fold Diabetes Risk

Research
CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

Research
CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Research
CU Medicine Studies Suggest Grass Carp as a Major Source of Fish Allergy in Hong Kong And Identify Novel Allergenic Marker Cten i 1 to Promote Accurate Diagnosis

CU Medicine Studies Suggest Grass Carp as a Major Source of Fish Allergy in Hong Kong And Identify Novel Allergenic Marker Cten i 1 to Promote Accurate Diagnosis

Research
CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment  Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

Research
CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

Research
CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

Research
CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

Health Campaign
CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

Research
CUHK Launches Newborn Add-on Test for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Supported by Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease

CUHK Launches Newborn Add-on Test for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Supported by Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease

Donation
CUHK Unveils Genome of Dermatophagoides farinae Casting New Light on Diagnosis and Interventions of Inhalant Allergies

CUHK Unveils Genome of Dermatophagoides farinae Casting New Light on Diagnosis and Interventions of Inhalant Allergies

Research
CUHK Survey Reveals Majority of School Teens Have Insufficient Sleep

CUHK Survey Reveals Majority of School Teens Have Insufficient Sleep

Health Campaign
CUHK Launches Territory-wide Sleep Health Education Campaign to Promote Healthy Sleep and Healthy School Life

CUHK Launches Territory-wide Sleep Health Education Campaign to Promote Healthy Sleep and Healthy School Life

Health Campaign
CUHK Pioneers MRI Iron Assessment for Thalassemia Children in Southern China

CUHK Pioneers MRI Iron Assessment for Thalassemia Children in Southern China

Clinical service
CUHK Discovers the Environmental Factors in Family and School Behind Constipation in HK Children

CUHK Discovers the Environmental Factors in Family and School Behind Constipation in HK Children

Research

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.