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Consensus Criteria for Screening Commercial Drivers for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Evidence of Efficacy

Talmage, James B. MD; Hudson, Toney B. MD; Hegmann, Kurt T. MD, MPH; Thiese, Matthew S. MSPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 3 - p 324-329
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181617ab8
Original Articles

Objective: To validate the recently published consensus criteria for screening commercial drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Methods: A large, consecutive case series of commercial drivers was screened for OSA at a single occupational medicine clinic and those screening positive were referred for overnight polysomnography.

Results: One hundred ninety (13%) of 1443 individuals having commercial motor vehicle driver examinations screened positive for OSA. None of these would have been detected if the only screening were the questions on the current Commercial Driver Medical examination form. One hundred thirty-four underwent polysomnography, and of those 94.8% had OSA, which is the best estimate of the positive predictive value of these consensus criteria in a population of truck drivers.

Conclusion: The proposed screening criteria have a high positive predictive value in this population. This study lends support for the requirement to screen for OSA in commercial drivers.

From the Occupational Health Center (Drs Talmage, Hudson), Cookeville, Tenn; Department of Family and Community Medicine (Dr Talmage), Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn; and Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (Dr Hegmann, Mr Thiese), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Address correspondence to: James B. Talmage, MD, Occupational Health Center, 315 N. Washington Avenue, Suite 165, Cookeville, TN 38501; E-mail:

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine