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A small study by the Royal London Hospital involving 63 obese children found that 54 of them had undiagnosed mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The hospital believes that all obese children should be examined to ensure they don't have the disorder. Since childhood obesity is a mounting problem (increase of at least 10% in the past decade), it is expected that the number of children with sleep apnea is also increasing. In sleep apnea, oxygen flow decreases because of restricted airflow. This can result in children feeling tired and lacking concentration during the day which can affect their performance in school. The hospital believes that the condition is not recognized enough in obese children and is therefore frequently undiagnosed. Also, there is a shortage of specialists that deal with the disorder. However, ultimately, the goal would be to decrease childhood obesity.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by BBC News - UK
About: Sleep apnea is a frequently undiagnosed condition in obese children
Date: 2 December 2004
Source: BBC News - UK
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