Obstructive sleep apnea among commercial vehicle drivers in Malaysia: Issues and initiatives


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been identified by many studies as one of the significant contributing factors for motor vehicle accidents. However, only a small number of studies have been conducted in Malaysia. Objective: This paper aims to highlight the prevalence of OSA among truck drivers and express bus drivers in Malaysia and efforts being undertaken to address issues related to OSA among commercial vehicle drivers. Methodology: Two separate studies were conducted: a cross sectional study among truck drivers and secondly among express bus drivers. The screening process for identifying the high risk group for OSA was done using Berlin questionnaire. Meanwhile, among express bus drivers, OSA was confirmed with sleep study using polysomnography test. Result: Screening of risk group of OSA among truck drivers revealed that 14.6% (19) of drivers were categorized as having high risk of OSA while 85.4% (111) having low risk of OSA. While, in another study, polysomnography test among express bus drivers showed that 83 (28.7%) had mild OSA, 26 (9.0%) had AHI moderate OSA, and 19 drivers (6.6%) severe OSA. Conclusion: This paper highlighted the issues of OSA among commercial vehicle drivers in Malaysia. With an alarming high prevalence, OSA should be a major road safety concern in this country. A special study focusing on sleep and fatigue related crashes may need to be conducted to complement the current studies and full implementation of existing efforts and initiatives to address OSA in road crashes should be realized by the relevant authorities.

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Wahida, A. , Ilhamah, O. , Suffian, A. , Aimi, M. , Norlen, M. and Wong, S. (2013) Obstructive sleep apnea among commercial vehicle drivers in Malaysia: Issues and initiatives. Health, 5, 80-86. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58A2012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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