National Conference on Sleep Apnea in Trucking Announced
The American Trucking Association (ATA) is co-sponsoring the first-ever national conference on sleep apnea and commercial motor vehicle drivers on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, at The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport - BWI in Baltimore. The conference will feature presentations and panel discussions that focus on providing a common understanding of sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, clarifying current and proposed regulations, establishing an ongoing forum of experts to generate guidance for improvements, and providing trucking management with the resources to improve employee health and safety.
The illness afflicts at least 20 million Americans - equal to or more than asthma or diabetes - yet more than 85% remain undiagnosed, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), which is co-hosting the ATA's sleep apnea conference. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which an individual's airway is blocked while sleeping, typically resulting in frequent breathing interruptions lasting from 10 seconds to more than a minute at a time, loud snoring and non-restorative sleep. One controlled study found that people with OSA have a six times greater risk of being involved in a traffic crash and a seven times greater risk of having multiple crashes.
"Sleep apnea is a major problem in the truck driver community," said Dana Voien, President of SleepSafe Drivers. He said sleep apnea affects about 6% to 12% of the adult male population, but 28% to 30% of truck drivers - a factor he ties to the unusually high obesity rate among drivers. In addition to being a potential safety risk on the highway, drivers with sleep apnea face a long list of increased health risks, including hypertension, diabetes, memory loss, chronic fatigue, obesity, and a doubling of the chance of heart attack and stroke.
The one-day conference will be preceded by a reception and keynote address from NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman on May 11, 2010.
For more information, visit http://www.satc2010.org/.
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