Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 > Hits and Misses: Screening Commercial Drivers for Obstructiv...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318298fb0e
Original Articles

Hits and Misses: Screening Commercial Drivers for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Using Guidelines Recommended by a Joint Task Force

Platt, Alec B. MD, MSCE; Wick, Lindsay C. M.Phil.Ed., M.S.Ed.; Hurley, Sharon BA; Soto-Calderon, Haideliza BS; Wieland, Will BA; Staley, Beth BA; Maislin, Greg MS, MA; Gurubhagavatula, Indira MD, MPH

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Objective: To evaluate joint task force criteria-based screening for severe obstructive sleep apnea (s-OSA) in commercial drivers.

Methods: Among a community-based cohort of licensed commercial vehicle drivers, we assessed utility of the joint task force criteria. We conducted full, 14-channel overnight polysomnography in all drivers, defining s-OSA as an apnea–hypopnea index of 30 or more per hour.

Results: One hundred of 104 drivers with successful polysomnography studies were predominantly obese (median body mass index = 32.8 kg/m2; interquartile range = 26.8 to 37.4) and had a median apnea—hypopnea index of 20.6 per hour (interquartile range = 10.0 to 34.2). Examination-based criteria were more effective (sensitivity = 80%; negative posttest probability [nPTP] = 17%) than symptom-based criteria (sensitivity = 63%; nPTP = 23%). Examination and symptom-based criteria combined had high sensitivity (97%) and low nPTP (7%), but poor specificity (19%).

Conclusions: Examination-based criteria missed 20% of s-OSA cases. Combining examination with confidentially reported symptoms improved sensitivity but required confirmatory polysomnography in 86%, supporting universal screening of all drivers.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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