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Sleep. 2002 Sep 15;25(6):648-53.

Sleepiness and sleep disorders in shift workers: a study on a group of italian police officers.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

evaluation of shift-work effect on sleepiness, sleep disorders, and sleep-related accidents in a population of police officers.

DESIGN:

Aquestionnaire-based survey was used to gather information on age and physical characteristics, working conditions, sleep problems, and accidents. Sleepiness was measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) while the presence of sleep disorders was evaluated by a score (SDS) drawn from indicators of insomnia, breathing disorders, periodic limb movements and restless legs syndrome, and hypersomnia. The effects of age, gender, body mass index, working conditions, and seniority on ESS, SD score, and accidents were analyzed by linear and logistic regression.

SETTING:

The self-administered questionnaires were filled in by police officers in the district of Genoa (Italy).

PARTICIPANTS:

1,280 police officers: 611 shift workers (SW) and 669 non-shift workers (NSW).

INTERVENTIONS:

N/A.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

The ESS score was not higher in SW than in NSW, while the SDS was significantly influenced by shift-work conditions and seniority in shift work. The occurrence of sleep-ascribed accidents was significantly increased in the SW group and related to the presence of indicators of sleep disorders. There was evidence for sleep disorders in 35.7% of SW and in 26.3% of NSW.

CONCLUSIONS:

Shift-work conditions and seniority may enhance sleep disorders and may favor sleep-related accidents, but they do not influence ESS score. Stressful conditions could cause sleepiness to be underestimated, or else they might overcome sleepiness. However, our data should alert occupational health physicians for the diagnosis and prevention of possible undetected intrinsic sleep disorders, which could possibly worsen shift workers' health and increase the risk of accidents.

PMID:
12224843
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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