Washington: Removing enlarged tonsils and adenoids may help prevent high blood pressure and possible heart damage in children who suffer from obstructive sleepapnea (OSA), a new study has claimed. Researchers at Cincinnati Children`s Hospital Medical Center found that adenotonsillectomy, or the surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids, can result in significantly lower blood pressure within 24 months of the procedure in some childrenwith OSA -- a sleep disorder characterised by abnormal pausesin breathing.
In addition, in a subset of children with moderate to severe sleep apnea, there was a decrease in heart size after adenotonsillectomy. Dr Burns said: "We know that children with sleep apnea tend to have higher blood pressures than children without sleep apnea, even if these elevations still fall within anormal range. "However this is the first study to evaluate how treatment of sleep apnea impacts blood pressure and heart size in a pediatric population who are free from other diseases, whichmay also contribute to elevations in blood pressure. "By identifying and treating elevations in blood pressure at an earlier age through treatment of OSA, we hope to prevent development of cardiovascular disease in childhood and later in life." However, she said more studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms leading to blood pressure changes with sleep apnea. PTI