Continuous positive airway pressure reduces risk of motor vehicle crash among drivers with obstructive sleep apnoea: systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Published: Sleep. 2010 October 1; 33(10): 1373–1380.
  • Authors: Tregear S, Reston J, Schoelles K, Phillips B.
  • Date Added: 29 Dec 2013
  • Last Update: 29 Dec 2013
  • Format: html

Objectives:

Determine whether CPAP use could reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents among drivers with OSA. A secondary objective involved determining the time on treatment required for CPAP to improve driver safety.

Methodology:

Literature review searching MEDLINE, PubMed (PreMEDLINE), EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, TRIS, and the Cochrane library.

Key Findings:

  • A meta-analysis of 9 observational studies examining accident risk of drivers with OSA pre- vs. post-CPAP found a significant risk reduction following treatment (risk ratio = 0.278, 95% CI: 0.22 to 0.35; P < 0.001).

  • Although accident data are not available to assess the time course of change, daytime sleepiness improves significantly following a single night of treatment, and simulated driving performance improves significantly within 2 to 7 days of CPAP treatment.

  • Observational studies indicate that CPAP reduces motor vehicle accident risk among drivers with OSA.

Keywords:

Sleep apnoea, crash, motor vehicle, CPAP, public health

Comments:

This review demonstrates the benefits of CPAP in reducing daytime sleepiness and the increased risk associated with sleepiness when driving.

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