According to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, infants of parents who snore are three times as likely to snore themselves when compared to infants whose parents don't snore. They also found that children who have a tendency to develop allergies and asthma (atopy) also have a higher likelihood of being snorers.

African-American children seem to have the highest likelihood of being chronic snorers.

Problems with breathing during sleep (for infants) have often been associated with learning difficulties later in life - as well as heart disease and metabolic disorders.

The researchers studied 681 children, 45% girls, 80% white, who were just over one year old. Their parents were atopic. The parents filled in questionnaires - the aim was to see whether there was a link between parental snoring and infant snoring, whether the child was also atopic and also whether the infant was exposed to second hand smoke. Blood samples were taken from the infants to assess their allergies (what type).

You can read about this study in the journal Chest.

20% of the mothers and 46% of the fathers were habitual snorers (in this study). A habitual snorer is someone who snores three or more times a week. The incidence of snoring among infants who had at least one parent who was a habitual snorer was three times greater than infants whose parents did not snore. Atopic children were twice as likely to be habitual snorers than those who were not atopic.

The researchers did not find a link between passive smoking and infant snoring.

Dr. Maninder Kalra, from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and lead researcher, said early intervention can save the lives of many infants.

Snorers airflow can become disrupted at the back of the mouth and nose. The throat and tongue vibrate against parts of the roof of the mouth and produce the snoring sound. People with allergies (nasal), infections, tonsil and adenoid problems can have problems with snoring. Also people with structural irregularities in the nose and throat area can have problems.

Treatment can vary from surgery, laser and radio-wave treatment. Some nasal masks can also help. Some snorers find that losing weight helps. Others have benefited by refraining from consuming alcohol or sleep inducing drugs before bedtime. A large number of mild snorers find that if they sleep on their sides they tend to snore less frequently.

According to another recent study, obese women are much more likely to snore than women who are not obese.

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