Sleep disorders in children with moderate to severe persistent allergic rhinitis

Abstract Introduction Allergic rhinitis is associated with several complications, including sleep disorders. The Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire has been recently translated and validated in Portuguese for the evaluation of sleep disorders in children. Objective To assess sleep disorders in children with moderate to severe persistent allergic rhinitis and to correlate the findings with disease severity markers. Methods We evaluated 167 children (4-10 years), 112 with allergic rhinitis and 55 controls. Parents/guardians of the children answered the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, consisting of 33 questions divided into eight subscales, which refers to the previous week. Patients with rhinitis were also evaluated regarding the score of nasal and extra-nasal symptoms related to the previous week and the peak nasal inspiratory flow. Results There were no significant differences between groups of different age. All patients with rhinitis were being treated with nasal topical corticosteroids. The total Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire score was significantly higher among children with rhinitis than in controls (median 48 vs. 43, p < 0.001). Significantly higher values were also observed for the parasomnia (9 vs. 8), respiratory disorders (4 vs. 3) and daytime sleepiness (14 vs. 12) subscales. Among the patients with rhinitis, no significant correlation was observed between the total Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire score and disease activity variables, but moderate correlations were observed for the respiratory distress subscale vs. nasal symptom score (r = 0.32) and vs. extra-nasal symptom score (r = 0.32). Conclusion Children with moderate to severe persistent allergic rhinitis, even when submitted to regular treatment, have a higher frequency of sleep disorders than controls, particularly concerning nocturnal breathing disorders, daytime sleepiness, and parasomnias. The intensity of sleep disorders found in some subscales was correlated with objective markers of allergic rhinitis severity.