Factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea among commercial motor vehicle drivers

J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Feb;53(2):169-73. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182068ceb.


Objective: Identify factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) risk during commercial driver medical examinations.

Methods: A case-control study was conducted at an occupational health clinic by reviewing the commercial driver medical examinations medical records performed from January 2007 to December 2008. The magnitude of association with OSA was estimated with logistic regression.

Results: Among 1890 commercial motor vehicle drivers, 51 were confirmed positive for OSA by polysomnography after initial screening by Joint Task Force guidelines, yielding estimated positive predictive values of 78.5% for the screening criteria. Multivariable logistic regression showed that body mass index ≥ 30 (odds ratio: 26.86), hypertension (odds ratio: 2.57), and diabetes (odds ratio: 2.03) were independently associated with OSA.

Conclusion: Medical examiners' use of objectively measurable risk factors, such as obesity, history of hypertension, and/or diabetes, rather than symptoms, may be more effective in identifying undiagnosed OSA in commercial drivers during the commercial driver medical examinations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Motor Vehicles / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Polysomnography
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*


  • Oxygen