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Obstructive sleep apnea indicators and injury in older farmers.

Heaton-K; Azuero-A; Reed-D
J Agromed 2010 Jul; 15(3):307
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between sleep apnea indicators and injury in older farmers from Kentucky and South Carolina. The cross-sectional study focused on survey data collected during the fourth wave of data collected for the study entitled Sustained Work Indicators of Older Farmers (Reed, R01 OH07534-01). Subjects included in the current study reported at least one day of farm work during the preceding year (n = 756). The primary outcome variable was the reported occurrence of injuries because of farm work in the past year. The main explanatory variables of interest included the following sleep characteristics: reported snoring, gasping, snorting, or breathing while asleep; trouble sleeping; consumption of sleep medications; trouble staying awake during daytime; and self-rated overall sleep quality. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the outcome and explanatory variables. Bivariate association tests between the outcome and explanatory variables were conducted using simple logistic regressions. Explanatory variables that showed significant association with the outcome in the bivariate analyses were then used to fit an initial multivariable logistic regression model. Just over 10% of respondents reported an injury related to farming in the previous year. Significant bivariate associations were detected between the occurrence of injuries and number of days of farm work; number of hours of farm work during the last week; male gender; arthritis or rheumatism conditions; stopped breathing while sleeping; and problems staying awake during the past month. In the final multivariable model, "apneic periods during sleep" (p = <.05) and "problems staying awake last month" (p = < .01) were retained. Sleep problems were associated with injury in this sample of older farmers. Future studies are necessary to screen and diagnose older farmers with OSA to empirically determine the effect of this sleep disorder on injury.
Accident-analysis; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Age-factors; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Exposure-assessment; Farmers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Mathematical-models; Risk-analysis; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices
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Work Environment and Workforce: Organization of Work
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
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University of Kentucky