PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 -- Try to steer clear of that tailgating truck driver speeding down the interstate. He may be falling asleep.
That's the intuitive bottom line that emerged from a study of nearly 250 commercial truck drivers at high risk for sleep apnea and about 150 at low risk for the condition, identified by mailed questionnaires.
Nearly one out of five truck drivers may be at risk for driving impairment because of poor sleep quality, concluded Allan I. Pack, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine here.
In the study, more than 13% of commercial truck drivers averaged less than five hours of sleep per night, and nearly 5% suffered from severe sleep apnea, reported Dr. Pack and colleagues said in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.