Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) recognizes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a risk factor for drowsy driving and motor vehicle crashes due to falling asleep.

Overall risk for motor vehicle crashes is an estimated

2X to 3X greater

in individuals with OSA vs those without

 In patients with high levels of self-reported EDS in OSA,

38% said they had dozed off

at the wheel when driving*

This not only puts the patient at risk, but others as well

*A study of 822 patients newly diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA and referred for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Of those patients, 350 were classified as having EDS, as measured by significantly higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores and a higher probability of sleepiness-related complaints.

Decreased workplace productivity and increased risk of disability

According to the 2016 US National Health and Wellness Survey:

  • Patients with EDS in OSA demonstrated greater impairment in presenteeism, overall work productivity, and activity outcomes compared to participants without EDS

In one study

Patients with EDS in OSA were

13.7X more likely

to report recent work disability vs healthy controls without OSA or EDS4†

†A study of 183 patients referred to a sleep disorder center with suspected OSA. All patients underwent overnight polysomnography after completing a written survey that assessed work disability due to sleep problems, occupational characteristics, and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) defined as an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score >10. Patients were grouped into 1 of 4 mutually exclusive categories: (1) OSA present and EDS present, (2) OSA present and EDS absent, (3) OSA absent and EDS present, or (4) OSA absent and EDS absent.

Increased healthcare costs

People with EDS in OSA had significantly more outpatient physician visits per year compared to those without EDS in OSA (P=0.005)5‡

EDS was a significant predictor of increased outpatient visits
(P=0.021) and increased hospitalizations (P=0.046)5‡

‡A study of 2149 patients referred for sleep diagnostic testing with suspected OSA. EDS was defined as an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score ≥10. Healthcare use (outpatient physician visits, all-cause hospitalizations, and emergency department visits) was assessed for the 18-month period prior to diagnostic testing.