Pediatric sleep questionnaire predicts more severe sleep apnea in children with uncontrolled asthma

Amy A. Dooley, J. Hunter Jackson, Meagan L. Gatti, Hani Fanous, Claudia Martinez, Dominique C. Prue, Gurpreet Phull, Miller Richmond, Noa A. Weinstein, Elizabeth Chorvinsky, Prateek J. Shukla, Dinesh K. Pillai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: While up to 35% of children with asthma have evidence of sleep disordered breathing (SDB), it is unclear if nocturnal symptoms stem from asthma itself or SDB. The Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ) is a validated tool for identifying SDB in childhood asthma. We hypothesize children with asthma and abnormal PSQ demonstrate decreased asthma control and are at higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Methods: We performed a retrospective, chart review of children and young adults referred to our tertiary children’s hospital severe asthma clinic. Data collection included age, gender, BMI percentile, spirometry, PSQ, asthma control questionnaires, asthma severity, control, and impairment. These data were evaluated in the context of polysomnography, when available. Results: 205 inner-city children were included; 37.2% female, median age 6.4 y, and mean BMI of 71.3%ile. Rhinitis (p = 0.028), eczema (p = 0.002), and reflux (p = 0.046) were associated with abnormal PSQ; however, overweight/obese status, spirometry, asthma severity, and serologic markers were not. After correcting for comorbidities, abnormal PSQ score was associated with poor asthma control based on validated measures (p < 0.001). In patients with polysomnography, we confirmed abnormal PSQ was associated with increased OSA severity (apnea-hypopnea index 9.1/hr vs. 3.6/hr; p = 0.027). Conclusions: In pediatric asthma, positive PSQ was associated with significantly decreased asthma control. Additionally, children with normal PSQ demonstrated mild OSA, while children with abnormal PSQ had increased severity of OSA. This demonstrates that PSQ can be used to screen children for more severe sleep apnea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1589-1596
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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