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Obstructive apnea and car accident risk - 29/11/2013

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Sleep deprivation
Obstructive Sleep Apnea increases the risk of car accidents.
It is well known that drink and driving are not combined.
The same applies to drowsiness, or its causes are occasionally (eg overnight, long working hours, excessive fatigue, etc.), or pathological (taking medication, sleep disturbances, poor sleep quality, etc.).
The results of such a situation can be devastating.
They are also at risk of being involved in an accident, and their own drivers, as well as their passengers and unfortunately whoever else is on their way.
A recent study, headed by Kim L. Ward, BSc of the Center for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease at the University of Western Australia, observed a correlation of traffic accidents and people with obstructive sleep apnea and found that road accidents and "near misses" were more likely to occur in people with uninterrupted obstructive sleep apnea.
Men mostly who were involved in a car accident or had a near accident reported a lot of drowsiness during the day.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing periodically or breaths poorly during his sleep, resulting in various symptoms such as drowsiness, irritation, reduced performance at work, and more during the day.
Researchers analyzed questionnaires from 2,673 participants, who were suspected of sleeping problems in a hospital based on the clinical study of sleep.
The questions were related to the age, gender of the participants, driving times, the number of times involved in a car breakage, the number of "near-stroke", daytime drowsiness, as well as related to the amount of caffeine and alcohol they drank.
All participants underwent a sleep study to see if they had a sleep disorder and what is its severity.
Researchers found that the percentage of injuries among patients with incurable obstructive sleep apnea was about 6 accidents per 100 people per year.
The average rate of trauma in the general population is 2 accidents per 100 people per year.
Researchers calculated that men with daytime drowsiness were about 4.7 times more likely to get involved in a "near-run" driving accident than men who were normally alert during the day.
Men with daytime drowsiness also had 1.3 times more likely to be involved in car accidents than the rest.
Among women, there is no precise correlation because the data was less clear.
Unhealthy obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of minor accidents in both men and women, with an increased risk of a traffic accident in men with drowsiness, the researchers write.
They point out that this risk was higher in patients with high somnolence during the day, no matter how severe their sleep apnea was.
"This article provides additional information showing the harmful effects of poor quality or poor amount of sleep," said William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill.
"Anything that can increase daily sleepiness, either to reduce the quality and amount of sleep - in this case is so-called obstructive sleep apnea - will increase the risk of harmful things that can happen, such as road accidents," , he said.
The research was funded by the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Research Foundation, the Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation and the ARK from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Enabling Facility and the ARK National Health and Medical Research System, Australia).
This study was published on October 15, 2013 in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Typical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is by CPAP. This gives the ability to wear a mask to sleep, to send the patient the required amount of air.
alternatively, today with the individualized construction of an intraoral narthex, it is possible to change the position of the jaw and the soft molecules to release the airway and to breathe better without the help of the patient.
The splint resembles an orthodontist, small in size and easily transported. It is recommended for light and medium gravity obstructive sleep apnea but also in all cases where the patient can not tolerate the CPAP device.

Source: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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