The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is meeting with the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board to discuss the affect of sleep apnea on commercial drivers.
The group is scheduled to hear from sleep apnea experts on the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and the population of commercial drivers nationwide. The conversation will also include ideas and concepts that FMCSA should consider for future regulatory guidance on the issue.
A University of Pennsylvania study from 1996 to 1998 concluded that the prevalence of sleep apnea occurring in 406 commercial drivers living within 50 miles of the school was similar to that of sleep apnea suffers in other general populations. Researchers also found that the prevalence of sleep apnea increases related to older age and a higher degree of obesity as measured by body mass index, or BMI.
FMCSA says the crash risk study also show that the prevalence of sleep apnea depends on the average duration of sleep over consecutive nights at home. Short sleep duration, six hours or less per night, results in an increase in the prevalence of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea suffers are also involved in about 3 percent more vehicle crashes than those without the sleeping disorder.
The open, public meeting is Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern in Alexandria, Va.