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Sleep Breath. 2015 Dec;19(4):1229-34. doi: 10.1007/s11325-015-1145-7. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Risk factors for automobile accidents caused by falling asleep while driving in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Sleep Medicine, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yazakokarimata, Nagakute, Aichi, 480-1195, Japan.
2
Department of Sleep Medicine, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yazakokarimata, Nagakute, Aichi, 480-1195, Japan. sasanabe@aichi-med-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examined the risk factors for automobile accidents caused by falling asleep while driving in subjects with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

METHODS:

We asked licensed drivers with history of snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness who had undergone polysomnography (PSG) at the Department of Sleep Medicine/Sleep Disorders Center at Aichi Medical University Hospital to complete the questionnaires on accidents caused by falling asleep while driving. As a subjective measure of sleepiness, we used the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS). Based on PSG results, 2387 subjects diagnosed with OSAS were divided into three groups according to apnea-hypopnea index (AHI): mild-to-moderate (5 ≤ AHI < 30), severe (30 ≤ AHI < 60), and very severe (AHI ≥ 60). We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression on variables that might explain falling asleep at the wheel.

RESULTS:

We compared results between each group and simple snorers (394 subjects with AHI < 5) and found the group with very severe OSAS reported significantly higher rates of driving when drowsy and having accidents in the past 5 years due to falling asleep.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our multivariate analysis suggests that scores on the ESS and patient-reported frequency of feeling drowsy while regular driving and working are related to automobile accidents caused by falling asleep while driving.

KEYWORDS:

Automobile accidents; Epworth sleepiness sale; Falling asleep; Obstructive sleep apnea; Risk factors

PMID:
25716746
PMCID:
PMC4662952
DOI:
10.1007/s11325-015-1145-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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