A Reuters news report indicates that a small study finds that obstructive sleep apnea may also raise the risk of a workplace injury.

Of more than 1,200 sleep clinic patients, those with sleep apnea were twice as likely as others to suffer a workplace injury and three times more likely to have one that was related to failed vigilance – such as tripping, falling or getting burned – the researchers report in the journal Thorax.

Patients with sleep apnea tend to get very fragmented sleep, noted senior study author Najib Ayas. “A lot of times people may not remember being woken up, it’s like someone going in there and shaking them awake many times per hour,” said Ayas, an associate professor of medicine at the University of British Colombia in Vancouver.

“They wake up and they feel quite tired during the daytime and we think that that’s probably what accounts for the increased risk,” Ayas told Reuters Health by email.

An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and the vast majority of cases are undiagnosed, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.

View the full story at www.reuters.com