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|Does the combination of obesity and obstructive sleep apnea place children at greater risk of executive function impairment?
|School of Psychology
|Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects 1.2% to 5.7% of children. It is characterised by upper airway collapse during sleep, resulting in oxygen desaturation, and sleep fragmentation leading to cognitive impairment. There is evidence in the literature to suggest that OSA in children can lead to a deficit in executive function (EF), and recent evidence suggests this effect might be intensified in children who are also overweight. Obesity is considered to be an independent risk factor for OSA in children, and preceding evidence suggests that obesity itself is an independent contributor to cognitive impairment. However, the moderating influences of body mass index (BMI) on EF has not yet been fully elucidated in children with OSA. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity in children, an objective understanding of the impact of body mass on EF in children with OSA is necessary. This was a retrospective case study involving 176 children (7 to 9 years of age) who were evaluated for OSA using polysomnography between January 2008 and September 2011. Participants were stratified into four groups: treated/normal-weight (n = 27, BMI < 85th percentile), treated/overweight (n = 58, BMI > = 85th percentile), untreated/normal-weight (n = 36, BMI < 85th percentile) and untreated/overweight (n = 55, BMI > = 85th percentile). The children also underwent neurocognitive assessment (BRIEF & NEPSY) which was administered at baseline and re-administered after 7 months, and after treatment by adenotonsillectomy in the treatment groups. Scores for measures of EF were compared across groups to determine the relative contribution of body mass to executive function in children with OSA. Results revealed that BMI was a predictor of EF outcome in the BRIEF subtest Organisation of Materials only. Furthermore, no association was found between Organisation of Materials and OSA severity of OAHI, AI, ODI and minimum oxygen saturation.
|Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
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|School of Psychology
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