Sleepiness-at-the-wheel has been identified as a major cause of highway accidents. The aim of our study is identifying the candidate measures for home-based screening of sleep disordered breathing in Taiwanese bus drivers, instead of polysomnography. Methods
: Overnight polysomnography accompanied with simultaneous measurements of alternative screening devices (pulse oximetry, ApneaLink, and Actigraphy), heart rate variability, wake-up systolic blood pressure and questionnaires were completed by 151 eligible participants who were long-haul bus drivers with a duty period of more than 12 h a day and duty shifting. Results
: 63.6% of professional bus drivers were diagnosed as having sleep disordered breathing and had a higher
body mass index, neck circumference, systolic blood pressure, arousal index and desaturation index than those professional bus drivers without evidence of sleep disordered breathing.
Simple home-based candidate measures: (1) Pulse oximetry, oxygen-desaturation indices by ≥3% and 4% (r =
0.87~0.92); (2) Pulse oximetry, pulse-rising indices by ≥7% and 8% from a baseline (r =
0.61~0.89); and (3) ApneaLink airflow detection, apnea-hypopnea indices (r =
0.70~0.70), based on recording-time or Actigraphy-corrected total sleep time were all significantly correlated with, and had high agreement with, corresponding polysomnographic apnea-hypopnea indices [(1) 94.5%~96.6%, (2) 93.8%~97.2%, (3) 91.1%~91.3%, respectively]. Conversely, no validities of SDB screening were found in the multi-variables apnea prediction questionnaire, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, night-sleep heart rate variability, wake-up systolic blood pressure and anthropometric variables. Conclusions
The indices of pulse oximetry and apnea flow detection are eligible criteria for home-based screening of sleep disordered breathing, specifically for professional drivers.