High risk for obstructive sleep apnea in truck drivers estimated by the Berlin questionnaire: Prevalence and associated factors

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Moreno, CRC
Carvalho, F. A.
Lorenzi, C.
Matuzaki, L. S.
Prezotti, S.
Bighetti, P.
Louzada, F. M.
Lorenzi, G.
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The health issues that attract our attention when analyzing the truck driver population are the high prevalence of sedentary habits, inadequate diet, obesity, and proportion of hypertensive. All these are either considered risk factors for or a consequence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). the objective of this study was to investigate the risk for OSA among 10, 101 truck drivers and to correlate it with potentially related factors, such as serum glucose and cholesterol levels, smoking habits, alcohol and drug consumption, and self-reported physical activity. the drivers were invited to participate in the campaign Saude na Boleia (Health Behind the Wheel) promoted by a Brazilian company responsible for the maintenance of approximately 360 km of roads in the country. Drivers who spontaneously stopped at the campaign booths placed along the roads were invited to answer a questionnaire covering sociodemographic data such as age, alcohol, and drug consumption. All participants completed a Berlin Questionnaire and were classified as low- or high-risk subjects for OSA based on questions about snoring, tiredness during the day, and the presence of hypertension or obesity. Blood collection was accomplished at the same site by nurses and/or nursing students collaborating with the campaign for subsequent laboratory studies. Approximately 26% of the truck drivers were found to be at high-risk group for OSA. An adjusted multiple logistic model found the independent risk factors of smoking (OR = 1.16; p = 0.014) and drug use (OR = 1.32; p < 0.0001) were associated with high risk for OSA. the presence of self-reported occasional (OR = 0.62; p < 0.0001) and regular (OR = 0.53; p < 0.0001) physical activity was found to be an independent factor protective of OSA. Educational programs, including ones aimed at improving one's health habits, such as engagement in physical exercise, should be considered in the development of initiatives to reduce the risk for OSA among the truck driver population.
Chronobiology International. New York: Marcel Dekker Inc, v. 21, n. 6, p. 871-879, 2004.