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Correspondence |

OSA and Work-Related InjuriesOSA and Work-Related Injuries: Searching for Evidence FREE TO VIEW

Sergio Garbarino, MD, PhD; Ottavia Guglielmi, PhD; Antonio Sanna, MD, PhD; Nicola Magnavita, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal-Infantile Sciences and Department of Health Sciences (Drs Garbarino and Guglielmi), University of Genoa; Pneumology Unit (Dr Sanna), San Jacopo Hospital; and the Department of Public Health (Dr Magnavita), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Nicola Magnavita, MD, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Gemelli 8, Rome, Italy 00168; e-mail: nicolamagnavita@gmail.com


CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None declared.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;148(5):e166. doi:10.1378/chest.15-1296
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To the Editor:

In a review published in CHEST (May 2015), Hirsch Allen et al1 deal with a subject of great interest: the relationship between the common medical condition of OSA and accidents at work. This narrative review states, “There is emerging evidence implicating OSA as an important factor in two important societal issues: work disability and work-related injuries.”1 However, this evidence has not been included in the article.

Since the studies reviewed are extremely heterogeneous, the lack of clearly defined selective criteria makes it impossible for the reader to form an opinion on this topic. First, some of the research focuses on subjects other than OSA (eg, sleep-disordered breathing2 or complaints such as snoring and daytime sleepiness3). Second, different methods of diagnosis are used in the studies that deal specifically with OSA. In some studies, cases were diagnosed objectively using polygraphy or polysomnography, while in other studies, a broader definition of suspected OSA was adopted, based on standardized or nonstandardized questionnaires. Third, the review fails to assess the quality of the studies. This means that findings of unequal quality could be placed on the same level.

There is broad agreement that OSA causes a significant increase in the risk of traffic accidents and deterioration in performance.4 Although there is a lack of decisive evidence that OSA increases the risk of accidents at work, some companies have already started health promotion programs regarding OSA.5 The elevated prevalence of OSA and the high incidence of work accidents in all countries make it vital to understand what the relationship is between the two phenomena. In conclusion, we believe that this issue is very important and could be addressed by a systematic review and meta-analysis.

References

Hirsch Allen AJM, Bansback N, Ayas NT. The effect of OSA on work disability and work-related injuries. Chest. 2015;147(5):1422-1428. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Ulfberg J, Carter N, Edling C. Sleep-disordered breathing and occupational accidents. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2000;26(3):237-242. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Lindberg E, Carter N, Gislason T, Janson C. Role of snoring and daytime sleepiness in occupational accidents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001;164(11):2031-2035. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Garbarino S, Gelsomino G, Magnavita N. Sleepiness, safety and transport. J Ergonomics. 2014;S3:003.
 
Garbarino S, Magnavita N. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), metabolic syndrome and mental health in small enterprise workers. feasibility of an action for health. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(5):e97188. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

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References

Hirsch Allen AJM, Bansback N, Ayas NT. The effect of OSA on work disability and work-related injuries. Chest. 2015;147(5):1422-1428. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Ulfberg J, Carter N, Edling C. Sleep-disordered breathing and occupational accidents. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2000;26(3):237-242. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Lindberg E, Carter N, Gislason T, Janson C. Role of snoring and daytime sleepiness in occupational accidents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001;164(11):2031-2035. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Garbarino S, Gelsomino G, Magnavita N. Sleepiness, safety and transport. J Ergonomics. 2014;S3:003.
 
Garbarino S, Magnavita N. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), metabolic syndrome and mental health in small enterprise workers. feasibility of an action for health. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(5):e97188. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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