What are the racial predilections of childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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Obstructive sleep apnea occurs more commonly among black and Hispanic individuals than among white adults and children. In patients younger than 18 years, blacks are 3.5 times more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea than whites.

The high frequency of obstructive sleep apnea in adult Asian populations indicates that the anthropometric characteristics of the craniofacial structures in this racial group also predispose to higher obstructive sleep apnea rates in children. The frequency of obstructive sleep apnea in Hispanic children is equal to that of white children.

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