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Obstructive sleep apnoea and frequency of occupational injury
  1. A J Hirsch Allen1,
  2. Julie E Park2,
  3. Patrick R Daniele2,
  4. John Fleetham1,3,
  5. C Frank Ryan1,3,
  6. Najib T Ayas1,3,4
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2Providence Health Care Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3Sleep Disorders Program, University British Columbia Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  4. 4Centre Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and Centre Health Evaluation Outcome Sciences, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Najib Ayas University of British Columbia, Room 224, St. Paul's Hospital, 1080 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 1Y6; nayas{at}


Abstract We sought to determine whether patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are at increased risk of occupational injury (OI). Patients referred to the University of British Columbia Hospital Sleep Laboratory for suspected OSA (May 2003 to July 2011 were recruited and rates and types of validated OI (that caused at least 1 day of disability) in the 5 years prior to polysomnography were calculated. In a sample of 1236, patients with OSA were twice as likely (OR=1.93, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.50, p=0.03) to suffer at least one OI compared with patients without OSA. This association was attenuated (OR=1.76, CI 0.86 to 3.59, p=0.12) after controlling for confounders. In a secondary analysis, patients with OSA were almost three times more likely (OR=2.88, CI 1.02 to 8.08, p=0.05) to suffer from an injury more likely related to reduced vigilance (eg, a fall or commercial motor vehicle crash) when compared with patients without OSA, and this again was attenuated after controlling for confounders (OR=2.42, CI 0.085 to 6.93, p=0.10).

  • Sleep apnoea
  • Clinical Epidemiology

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