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Study: Simple test could diagnose childhood sleeping disorder

Category: General Health

Doctors may be able to use a simple urine test to diagnose a sleeping disorder in children, new research indicates.

A study published in the December 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that several proteins found in the urine of children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were expressed differently than in children without the breathing disorder.

Researchers from the American Thoracic Society said only about 20 percent to 30 percent of children who take part in expensive and inconvenient sleep studies to diagnose the condition actually have OSA - a problem a urine test could help resolve.

Dr David Gozal, a professor and chairman of pediatrics at the University of Chicago, commented, "It was rather unexpected that the urine would provide us with the ability to identify OSA."

He added, "However, the field of biomarkers is one that is under marked expansion, and this certainly opens the way for possible simple diagnostic screening methods in the future."

According to the National Institutes of Health, OSA causes pauses in breathing which can last 10 to 20 seconds and can occur 20 to 30 times each hour during sleep.

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