A new study finds that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with a significantly increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, and this risk is reduced when sleep apnea is treated effectively using CPAP therapy.
Results show that patients with sleep apnea were nearly 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in a motor vehicle accident, compared with a control group of other drivers in the general population.
Further risk analysis found that severe excessive daytime sleepiness, a short sleep duration of 5 hours or less, and use of sleeping pills were independent predictors of increased crash risk in patients with sleep apnea.
The study also found that the incidence of motor vehicle accidents was reduced by 70 percent among sleep apnea patients who used CPAP therapy for an average of at least 4 hours per night.
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