Monday, April 26, 2010

Steering Clear of Road Blocks: Study Recommends OSA Treatment for Commercial Drivers

Road safety advocates will be pleased with a new study in the May issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study indicates that treating truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) lowers healthcare costs and disability rates.

Lead author Dr. Benjamin Hoffman explained in a press release that treating OSA in truck drivers has economic, health and safety benefits.

The researchers used insurance claims records to evaluate the effects of OSA treatment in commercial drivers. The study included 248 OSA patients. Treatment was given to 156 of the drivers. The remaining 92 drivers went untreated.

For treated drivers, health plan costs decreased by an average of $2,700 in the first year. The costs decreased by another $3,100 in the second year. Untreated OSA patients did not experience changes in their health plan costs.

The treated drivers missed 4.4 fewer days of work in the first year. They also had lower short-term disability costs over two years.

On average, OSA treatment led to more than $6,000 in total health savings per treated driver.

The results indicate that, in addition to lowering accident rates, treating OSA can reduce health costs, work absences, and short-term disability.

Past studies have found that OSA treatment can lower the number of drowsy driving accidents. Screening and treatment for OSA has recently been recommended for commercial drivers. Read more here.

Image by Christian

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Disclaimer

The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.