Employer-mandated sleep apnea screening and diagnosis in commercial drivers

J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Aug;54(8):1017-25. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182572e16.


Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common among commercial drivers and associated with health/safety risks, leading several trucking firms to mandate OSA screening.

Methods: A total of 19,371 commercial drivers were screened for OSA with an online questionnaire (Somni-Sage reg) through employer mandates. Questionnaire and polysomnography results were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: Screening categorized 5908 drivers (30%) as higher risk. To date, employers have sent 2103 higher-risk drivers for polysomnography, demonstrating that 68% of high-risk drivers tested had an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) greater than 10 and 80% had an AHI of 5 or more. A conservative prevalence estimate for OSA (AHI > 10) was 21% among the drivers studied.

Conclusions: Online screening followed by polysomnography for high-risk drivers demonstrates as many as 21% of commercial drivers may have OSA. Mandatory screening can have a high yield among commercial drivers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult