To determine whether patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at increased risk of occupational injury (OI) METHODS: Working patients (aged 18 to 65 who reported more than 10 h of work per week) who were referred to the University of British Columbia Sleep Laboratory for suspected OSA for polysomnogram (PSG) were recruited from 2003 to 2011. Patients completed an extensive survey the night of their PSG. Validated OI was obtained by linking patient data to Workers Compensation Board Claims Data.
1109 workers were studied; mean age was 47.1 years, median AHI was 15.0/h, median BMI was 30 kg/m, 70.2% were male and 29% of patients worked in physical or manual related occupations. 78 patients (7.03%) suffered 140 OI in the 5 years after PSG. In a multivariate logistic regression model, OSA severity [defined as a log(AHI + 1)] was a significant predictor of OI (p = 0.04) after controlling for age, sex, BMI, and physical or manual related occupations. Patients with moderate and severe OSA had approximately two times the odds of an OI compared to patients without OSA (OR 1.99, 95% CI 0.96-4.44 and 2.00, 95% CI 0.96-4.49 for moderate and severe OSA groups, respectively).
In this prospective study, OSA severity was independently associated with an increased risk of OI.