Poor Sleep Pattern Can Trigger Asthma, Allergies in Teenagers

A good night’s sleep for adolescents is important for a healthy body and mind. This is especially true for those teenagers who stay up and go to sleep late at night and wake up late in the morning as they they suffer more from asthma and allergies as compared to early sleepers, says a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

It is the first study that has been held to determine the differences among different sleep patterns of adolescents and the risk of catching asthma and allergies in their early teens.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that results in obstruction in airways. The condition is characterized by symptoms of cough, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and night cough. Asthma is the most common among young children. The number of cases is rapidly increasing among kids and adolescents. It is 14.1% prevalent in the adolescent age group, according to the National Library of Medicine_ National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Source: Asthama Respiratory Foundation

The study lead researcher Dr. Subhabrata Moitra and his team collected a sample from West Bengal, India. The data has consisted of 1,685 adolescents with a mean age of 16. All the study participants took part in the study labeled as “Prevalence and Risk Factors of Asthma and Allergy-Related Diseases among Adolescents” (PERFORMANCE) study. The study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of Allergy & Asthma Research Centre, Kolkata.

The team administered an English-back Bengali translated version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase III questionnaire which is a video questionnaire on asthma-related symptoms which is strongly recommended for young children.

Through ISAAC, the team measured the demographics and community characteristics of the study participants including age, gender, race, ethnicity, information about surroundings whether someone smoke near them or not. ISAAC also measured the children’s respiratory symptoms including wheezing, asthma, rhinitis that can be defined as inflammation and swelling in the mucous membrane of the nose due to seasonal allergy results in runny nose and sneezing. Another condition that can be measured by ISAAC is rhinoconjunctivitis which is characterized by a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching in nose and eyes.

Source: The Korea Bizwire

Each respiratory symptom was asked using both “ever” for a positive response to the question “have you ever had that symptom?” and “current” if the participant also reported previous experience of having that symptom within the last 12 months.

The investigators also used a validated Bengali version of the reduced Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire (rMEQ) which is used to determine the chronotypes which can be referred to as if the kids were evening type or morning type or in between.

Source: Joel Broersma

Chronotype Findings: Later, the researchers did a comparison between the respiratory symptoms and chronotypes of each participant. They found out that 42% and 9% of the sample were lying under morning and evening chronotype, respectively. Whereas, 49% of the whole sample was identified as in between type.

Respiratory Health Findings: A total of 21% and 11% of the study sample had experienced rhinitis and asthma, respectively and 13% of the participants had experienced wheezing. The team also found that 38% of the whole study sample had encountered second-hand smoking that can be a major cause of catching asthma.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Source: Allergy and Asthma Network

Dr. Moitra from the division of pulmonary medicine at the University of Alberta said: “Our results suggest there’s a link between preferred sleep time, and asthma and allergies in teenagers. We can’t be certain that staying up late is causing asthma, but we know that the sleep hormone melatonin is often out of sync in late-sleepers and that could, in turn, be influencing teenagers’ allergic response.

It was the first study on adolescents to determine a link between sleep patterns and respiratory health outcomes. Therefore, there is a need for more work that can identify the reasons behind the rising numbers of cases of kids having asthma and other respiratory illnesses. So, a second phase of the current study will be held between 2028 to 2029 for the better understanding of the outcomes.

Source: World Sleep Society

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