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Primary nocturnal enuresis as a risk factor for sleep disorders: an observational questionnaire-based multicenter study

  • Autori: Esposito, M.; Gallai, B.; Parisi, L.; Roccella, M.; Marotta, R.; Lavano, S.; Mazzotta, G.; Carotenuto, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)


Introduction: Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE) is a common problem in developmental age with an estimated overall prevalence ranging from 1.6% to 15%, and possible persistence during adolescence. There is a growing interest in the sleep habits of children affected by PNE, which is derived from the contradictory data present in clinical literature. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of sleep disturbances in a population of children affected by PNE, and to identify whether PNE could be considered as a risk factor for sleep disturbances among children. Materials and methods: A total of 190 PNE children (97 males, 93 females) aged 7–15 years, (mean 9.64 ± 1.35 years), and 766 typically developing children matched for age (P = 0.131) and gender (P = 0.963) were enrolled. To evaluate the presence of sleep habits and disturbances, all of the subjects’ mothers filled out the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children (SDSC), a questionnaire consisting of six subscales: Disorders in Initiating and Maintaining Sleep (DIMS), Sleep Breathing Disorders (SBD), Disorders of Arousal (DA), Sleep–Wake Transition Disorders (SWTD), Disorders of Excessive Somnolence (DOES), and Nocturnal Hyperhidrosis (SHY). The results were divided into “pathological” and “normal” scores using a cut-off value (pathological score = at least three episodes per week), according to the validation criteria of the test. Then, the Chi-square test was used to calculate the statistical difference and a univariate logistic regression analysis was applied to determine the role of PNE as a risk factor for the development of each category of sleep disorders and to calculate the odds ratio (OR). Results: PNE children show a higher prevalence of all sleep disturbances (41.03% DIMS; 85.12% SBD; 63.29% DA; 67.53% SWTD; 31.28% DOES; 37.92% SHY; 25.33% SDSC total score), and according to OR results (SDSC total score OR = 8.293, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.079–13.540; DIMS OR = 7.639, 95% CI = 5.192–11.238; SBD OR = 35.633, 95% CI = 22.717–55.893; DA OR = 13.734, 95% CI = 9.476–19.906; SWTD OR = 14.238, 95% CI = 9.829–20.625; DOES OR = 5.602, 95% CI = 3.721–8.432; SHY OR = 6.808, 95% CI = 4.608–10.059), PNE could be considered as a risk factor for the development of sleep disorders. Conclusion: Among PNE children, sleep could be strongly altered, thus helping to affirm the hypothesis that PNE tends to alter sleep architecture, or it could itself be the consequence of an abnormal sleep structure. The findings also point to the existence of a potential increase in the risk of developing sleep disorders in the presence of PNE.