Two new studies show that untreated obstructive sleep apnea can have a negative impact on job performance.
A study in the June 1 issue of the journal Sleep involved 150 people; they were all referred to a sleep center in California for suspected sleep apnea. Their average age was 44 years; each of them was employed at the time of the study.
An overnight sleep study confirmed the presence of sleep apnea in 83 of the participants. Results show that work productivity suffered when people had sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness.
They were almost 14 times more likely to have had job-performance problems in the past four weeks. Examples include falling asleep on the job or missing a day of work. They also were more likely to report decreased job effectiveness.
Results also show that people with OSA and EDS were almost four times more likely to have had their work duty modified in the past five years. Examples include taking a pay cut or missing a promotion. Other examples include changing jobs or a job schedule.
Another new study involved 957 people in Finland who were diagnosed with OSA; they were compared with 4,785 people who did not have sleep apnea.
Results show that the risk of lost work days was increased by 61 percent in men with OSA; it was increased by 80 percent in women with sleep apnea.
In women this risk was already increased five years before they were diagnosed; in men the highest risk appeared one year before the year of their diagnosis.
It is estimated that about 80 percent of men and 90 percent of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Are you one of these people?
You can find out with an overnight sleep study. Contact an AASM-accredited sleep center near you for help.
On SleepEducation.com you can learn more about how a sleep study may be your best investment for long-term health. You also can answer these questions to learn more about your risk for sleep apnea.