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Accid Anal Prev. 2008 Jan;40(1):104-15. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.04.011. Epub 2007 May 24.

Estimated cost of crashes in commercial drivers supports screening and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Author information

1
Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. gurubhag@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

Sleep apnea among commercial drivers may increase the risk of fall-asleep crashes, which incur large expenses. Drivers of passenger cars whose apnea is treated experience lower crash risk. Among community-based holders of commercial driver's licenses, we considered three methods for identifying sleep apnea syndrome: (1) in-lab polysomnography; (2) selective in-lab polysomnography for high-risk drivers, where high risk is first identified by body mass index, age and gender, followed by oximetry in a subset of drivers; (3) not screening. The costs for each of these three programs equaled the sum of the costs of testing, treatment of identified cases, and crashes. Assuming that treatment prevents apnea-related crashes, polysomnography is not cost-effective, because it was more expensive than the cost of crashes when no screening is done. Screening with BMI, age and gender, however, with confirmatory in-lab polysomnography only on high-risk drivers was cost-effective, as long as a high proportion (73.8%) of screened drivers accepts treatment. These findings indicate that strategies that reduce reliance on in-laboratory polysomnography may be more cost-effective than not screening, and that treatment acceptance may need to be a condition of employment for affected drivers.

PMID:
18215538
PMCID:
PMC3506009
DOI:
10.1016/j.aap.2007.04.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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