Text: | Print|

Poor sleep blamed for death on the roads

2014-03-21 12:26 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Yao Lan

Two local doctors are calling for greater awareness of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome (OSAHS), which they say could help reduce traffic accidents.

The condition, which can be defined as a daytime sleepiness associated with irregular breathing at night, is one of the main reasons why some people fall asleep at the wheel, said Li Qingyun and Li Ning, who specialize in respiratory medicine at Ruijin Hospital.

On the eve of today's World Sleep Day, the pair said according to recent research, driver fatigue is to blame for up to half of the 40,000 to 50,000 traffic fatalities recorded daily around the world. Though OSAHS is easy to overlook, it is one of the central causes of driver fatigue, they said.

According to a separate study, drivers with OSAHS are more than seven times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than other drivers, the doctors said.

In the poll, 60 percent of people with the condition admitted to having fallen asleep while driving, while 25 percent said it was a weekly occurrence.

With an OSAHS incidence rate in China of 9 percent, the subject demands urgent attention, they said.

People with OSAHS usually snore and repeatedly stop breathing for short periods while sleeping. The condition is detrimental to sleep quality, which in turn makes people feel drowsy during the day, the doctors said.

OSAHS can also lead to attention deficiencies, slowed reactions and poor judgement. It also affects memory and can increase irritability, which can in turn increase the risk of accidents happening, the doctors said.

In some countries, people suffering from OSAHS are prohibited from driving and are required to undergo treatment, they said, adding that anyone in China who thinks they might be suffering from OSAHS should seek medical advice.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.