The prevalence of excessive sleepiness is higher in shift workers than in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Cátia Reis, Richard Staats, Pollyanna Pellegrino, Tathianna A. Alvarenga, Cristina Bárbara, Teresa Paiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a common feature among shift workers as well as in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. There are several important accidents related to sleep disturbances causing EDS. The aim of this study was to evaluate EDS in a group of shift workers (regular rotating) from civil aviation and to compare them with OSA patients (n = 300) and with a group of regular workers (RW) (n = 140). Our sample was composed of 730 working-age individuals (aged 18–67 years). The regular rotating shift workers (SW) sample was composed of 290 aeronautical mechanics. EDS was evaluated with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and defined as a score ≥ 11. The prevalence value obtained for the EDS of RW was 37.1%, for SW it was 60.7% and for OSA patients it was 40.7%. A logistic regression model for EDS in a subsample composed of men and matched for age and BMI, controlling for self-reported sleep duration, showed an increased risk of EDS for SW (OR = 3.91, p =.001), with the RW group as reference. OSA patients did not differ from RW on EDS levels. This study emphasizes the presence of EDS in a shift work group of civil aviation professionals, which exceeded the EDS level of a positive control group of OSA patients. Sleep hygiene education for companies' workers and management is important and mitigation strategies should be implemented to reduce excessive sleepiness among workers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • shift work

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