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Screening high-risk employees for sleep apnea could save a corporation millions of dollars
Date:6/13/2011

DARIEN, Ill. Large corporations could save millions of dollars in lost productivity by screening and treating high-risk employees for obstructive sleep apnea, suggests a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

Results show that a large corporation in Florida could save an estimated $136 million in lost productivity over 10 years by screening high-risk employees for OSA and offering treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. The study found that 608 employees of the corporation were middle-aged, obese men who were at high risk for OSA.

According to the authors, untreated OSA results in job performance deficiencies such as excessive sleepiness, cognitive dysfunction, irritability and reduced vitality. Research shows that work performance can be decreased by 30 percent due to sleep fragmentation and repetitive hypoxia, which are characteristics of OSA.

"This cost-benefit analysis proposed OSA screening and treatment for high-level management professionals who had high salaries," said principal investigator Dr. Clelia Lima, a family nurse practitioner in the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. "It was a pleasant surprise to find that the results showed substantial financial benefit for employees at practically any salary level."

Lima and co-investigator Dr. Elizabeth M. Rash, who is also a nurse practitioner, applied epidemiological data related to OSA screening, diagnosis and treatment to the specific demographics of the corporation. They based their calculations on statistics that 70 percent of high-risk individuals are diagnosed with OSA, and that 75 percent of patients with OSA are compliant with CPAP therapy. Therefore, they estimated that 319 of the 608 high-risk employees would have OSA and be compliant with treatment. '/>"/>

Contact: Emilee McStay
emcstay@aasmnet.org
630-737-9700
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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