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Correlation Between Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Using a Portable Device Versus Polysomnography Testing in a Commercial Driving Population

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

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 10 - p 1145-1150
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b68d52
Original Articles

Objective: To compare the accuracy of portable monitoring for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with polysomnography (PSG) in commercial drivers.

Methods: A consecutive case series of drivers were screened for OSA using recent validated consensus conference criteria at a single occupational medicine clinic; those screening positive were tested with a portable OSA screening device while awaiting PSG.

Results: Three hundred forty-six drivers were screened and 34 completed PSG and portable monitoring. Comparing the portable device to PSG at a definition of OSA as an apnea hypopnea index (AHI) ≥15, positive predictive value is 0.64 with a 0.87 negative predictive value. Positive likelihood ratio is 4.20. Linear regression model found statistically significant relationship (P = 0.0004) between the portable device and PSG AHI values.

Conclusion: Although not perfect, portable monitoring may be useful in further stratifying risk in drivers who have a high probability of having OSA.

From the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Dr Watkins), Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.; Occupational Health Center (Dr Talmage, Dr Hudson), LLC, Cookville, Tenn.; and Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (Dr Thiese, Dr Hegmann), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Address correspondence to: Marc R. Watkins, MD, 1005 Dr. D. B. Todd, Jr. Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine