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Bus, Truck Drivers May Downplay Sleep Troubles
Date:9/5/2012

e, according to the authors of the study, scheduled for presentation Saturday at the European Respiratory Society's annual meeting in Vienna.

"Our study suggests that commercial drivers are playing down their levels of sleepiness for fear of losing their jobs," study lead author Dr. Werner Strobel, of University Hospital in Switzerland, said in a European Lung Foundation news release.

"Although this is very difficult to prove, both the group of drivers and the group of non-drivers began the study with a similar number of disturbances during the night," he said. "You would therefore expect their reports of sleepiness to be similar to begin with, however the drivers estimated their levels of sleepiness as lower than the non-drivers. This pattern continued throughout the course of the study, with drivers reporting lower symptoms, yet receiving less treatment and making more unscheduled visits to the clinic."

Strobel suggested the results be taken into account by health care professionals treating drivers with sleep apnea.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about sleep apnea.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: European Lung Foundation, news release, Aug. 25, 2012


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