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Sleep. 2007 Oct;30(10):1309-16.

Sleep-disordered breathing and psychomotor vigilance in a community-based sample.

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  • 1Department of Population Health Sciences, Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53706, USA.



Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) has been associated with impaired psychomotor vigilance performance in patients with sleep apnea patients. A bias toward greater referral of sleep apnea patients with severely impaired performance could explain these findings. Furthermore, no studies on the association between SDB and vigilance performance in a large community-based sample have been reported that encompasses the full spectrum of SDB severity. This study investigated the association between SDB and psychomotor vigilance with cross-sectional data from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study.


Community-based sample of 265 women and 346 men, mean age of 53.0 +/- 7.9 (age range: 35-74) years was used. Within 6 months of completing an overnight polysomnography protocol for SDB assessment, participants completed a 10-minute psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) during a daytime protocol.


Sleep-disordered breathing was indicated by the number of apneas and hypopneas; psychomotor vigilance task variables included (1) mean of 1/reaction time (RT), (2) number of lapses, (3) mean reciprocal of fastest 10% RTs, (4) mean reciprocal of slowest 10% RTs, (5) slope of linear regression line across the 10 minutes of the task fit to 1/RTs, and (5) number of false responses.


Multiple regression analysis showed a significant negative association between the logarithmically transformed apnea-hypopnea index (LogAHI) and number of lapses, mean of the slowest 10%, and number of false responses from the psychomotor vigilance task, independent of sex and body mass index in participants aged 65 years and older.


SDB in the community population is associated with impaired psychomotor vigilance in older men and women.

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