The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among professional truck drivers has varied from 28 to 78% in previous studies. In this study we wanted to estimate the prevalence of OSA and OSA with both subjectively measured sleepiness and objectively measured ability to stay awake (ie obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, OSAS) among professional truck drivers in Finland.
Altogether 2066 professional truck drivers received a structured questionnaire. 175 drivers had a clinical examination and sleep laboratory studies, which included respiratory polygraphy (RP) and maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT). Three groups were formed: 75 subjects with suspected sleep apnea, 75 healthy controls and a random sample of 25 subjects.
1095 drivers answered the questionnaire. RP was performed on 172 drivers and 167 drivers participated in MWT. The mean age was 40.7 years and the mean BMI was 27.7 kgm. The prevalence of sleep apnea in professional truck drivers using various criteria were: AHI ≥5: 40.1%, AHI≥ 15: 16.2% and, AHI≥ 30: 7.2%. The prevalence depended on clinical history. Prevalence of AHI≥5 varied between 20 and 56.9% and prevalence of AHI≥15 was 4.3-25%. Altogether 4.8% of subjects with AHI ≥15 had abnormally short sleep latency in MWT (<19.4 min).
Moderate sleep apnea is common among professional truck drivers but significant inability to stay awake, defined as MWT <19.4 min, is found in about one of twenty professional drivers.

Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.