Background: Sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for motor vehicle accidents. We investigated the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) among commercial motor vehicle drivers in a transport company.
Methods: Among 355 drivers in a transport company, 345 commercial motor vehicle drivers (mean age: 47.0±8.8 years, range: 21-71 years) underwent unattended out-of-center sleep testing using a type IV portable sleep monitor between September 2019 and November 2019.
Results: The prevalence of oxygen desaturation index 3% (ODI3) score ≥15 was 17.7%. The prevalence of moderate-to-severe SDB, defined as respiratory event index (REI) score ≥15, was 31.9%. The prevalence of Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score ≥11 was 15.3%. There was no significant correlation between the ESS score and ODI3 (ρ=−0.05, P=0.40) or REI (ρ=−0.03, P=0.65) score. Multivariate analysis revealed that age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-1.09, P=0.002), body mass index (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.05-1.23, P<0.001), and daily alcohol intake (OR: 1.98, 95% CI: 1.10-3.55, P=0.02) were significantly associated with moderate-to-severe SDB in drivers. The ESS score was not significantly associated with moderate-to-severe SDB (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.93-1.05, P=0.70).
Conclusions: Objective screening tests for sleep apnea such as unattended out-of-center sleep testing may be necessary to improve the health and safety of commercial motor vehicle drivers, especially middle-aged obese male drivers having daily alcohol intake.