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PLoS One. 2014 May 8;9(5):e97188. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097188. eCollection 2014.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), metabolic syndrome and mental health in small enterprise workers. feasibility of an Action for Health.

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Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal-Infantile Sciences (DINOGMI), and Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
Department of Public Health, Section of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy.



To determine the frequency of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), metabolic syndrome and common mental disorders in the working population of 11 small enterprises and the feasibility of a program of action for health.


The clinical risk of OSAS, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, and the level of psychological disorders were assessed during routine medical examination at the workplace in 2012. The response to medical advice was assessed in 2013.


12.3% of the workers were suspected of being affected by OSAS. One or more components of metabolic syndrome were present in 24.5% of cases. OSAS in "healthy" workers was significantly associated with the presence of one or more components of metabolic syndrome (OR = 3.83; 95%CI 1.45-10.13) and with a psychological disorders score in the highest quartile (OR = 4.67; 95%CI = 1.72-12.64). Workers with suspected OSAS were reluctant to follow advice about undergoing further tests under the NHS. However, in some cases, confirmation of the OSAS diagnosis and subsequent treatment led to an improvement in metabolic condition.


Although participation in treatment was limited, anecdotal cases support the idea that prevention of obstructive sleep apnea in the workplace might be useful for workers' health.

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