Children with sickle cell anemia are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than children who are otherwise healthy, according to the findings of a study published online in the journal Pediatrics.

The study, which was published last week, was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The findings underscore the importance for physicians to screen sickle cell patients on a routine basis for sleep apnea, said one of the study’s co-investigators, Dr. Carol Rosen, a pediatric sleep medicine specialist and medical director of the┬áPediatric Sleep Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University.