Sleep Disorders |

Romanian Results of a European Study Concerning Sleepiness at the Wheel and Road Traffic Accidents (Wake Up Bus Project) FREE TO VIEW

Oana Deleanu; Stefan Mihaicuta, MD; Florin Mihaltan, MD; Phillipe Peigneaux, MD; Roberto Amici, MD; Ludger Grotte, MD; Marta Goncalves, MD
Author and Funding Information

"Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania

Chest. 2014;146(4_MeetingAbstracts):936A. doi:10.1378/chest.1990618
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SESSION TITLE: Sleep Posters I

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: Sleeping at the wheel is an actual concern and many causes have been identified for it, from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in which the risk of road traffic accidents (RTA) can be up to 7 fold higher, to sleep deprivation. Study is aimed to assess excessive day sleepiness (EDS), to correlate it with the risk of OSAS and to evaluate RTA due to somnolence at the wheel.

METHODS: An online questionnaire with 16 to 33 items including STOPBang score was addressed to drivers in 20 European countries.

RESULTS: In Romania, we obtain 675 eligible questionnaires; 58.8% of respondents were in the age group 31-50 years, 49.6% were men. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) was high (>10) in 33.2% of the responders, which correlated with other risk factors evaluated 26.1% of the males to have increased OSAS risk (underestimated for women). Of the responders 17.2% ever experienced falling asleep at the wheel (more of them with high ESS, p<0.001 and with a high risk of having OSAS: 43.5%, p<0,001); 1.3% (9) of the responders took part of a RTA, with no difference regarding to ESS or OSAS risk. There were no deaths registered and most of the RTA were minor damage (88.9%); 6/9 RTA happened from 2 to 7 PM on principal roads; 4/9 drivers involved in RTA were during the working time. An important issue is the fact that most of them (8/9) where feeling at least somehow sleepy; none of them slept normally the night before, 1/9 was usually a poor sleeper (indicating a risk for OSAS), 1/9 was shift-worker. Men have higher risk than women to fall asleep (p<0.001), but not to have RTA. A difference regarding to driver’s age regarding risk of falling asleep or RTA was not noted (p=NS). The risk of falling asleep is higher at the professional drivers, being increased with the numbers of kilometers driven per year (p=0.001) but this is not related to RTA risk.

CONCLUSIONS: This study allowed us to identify main risk groups in falling asleep at the wheel and having RTA in the Romanian driver’s population. Men and professional drivers are at risk, especially while driving on principal roads.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study identified risk groups and social impact of the problem, sleepy people didn’t charging the sleepiness as a threat to driving. We consider that this is the first step into implementing legislative measurements in countries as Romania, where OSAS screening is not yet mandatory for drivers.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Oana Deleanu, Stefan Mihaicuta, Florin Mihaltan, Phillipe Peigneaux, Roberto Amici, Ludger Grotte, Marta Goncalves

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