NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Obstructive sleep apnea indicators and injury in older farmers.

Heaton K; Azuero A; Reed D
J Agromedicine 2010 Apr; 15(2):148-156
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between sleep apnea indicators and injury in older farmers from Kentucky and South Carolina. Participants reported at least 1 day of farm work during the preceding year (n = 756) and received income from farming. The primary outcome variable was occurrence of injuries because of farm work in the past year. Main explanatory variables of interest included snoring, gasping, snorting, or cessation of breathing while asleep; trouble sleeping; consumption of sleep medications; trouble staying awake during daytime; and sleep quality. Simple logistic regressions established bivariate associations between explanatory and outcome variables. Explanatory variables significantly associated with the outcome in the bivariate analyses were used to fit a multivariable logistic regression model. The results show that just over 10% of participants experienced a farm injury in the past year. Significant bivariate associations were detected between the occurrence of injuries and number of days of farm work (odds ratio [OR] = 1.003, p = .0002); number of hours of farm work during the last week (OR = 1.017, p = .0047); male gender (OR = 2.48, p = .0007); arthritis or rheumatism conditions (OR = 1.981, p = .004); stopped breathing while sleeping (OR = 2.338, p = .0027); and problems staying awake during the past month (OR = 2.561, p = .001). In the final multivariable model, "stopping breathing while asleep" (p <or= .05) and "problems staying awake last month" (p <or= .01) were retained. These results show that sleep problems were associated with injury in this sample of older farmers. Future studies are necessary to screen and diagnose older farmers with obstructive sleep apnea (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; Author Keywords: Aging; farm; injury; sleep
Karen Heaton, PhD, CEN, FNP-BC, University of Alabama, School of Nursing, NB 358 Birmingham, AL 35294-1210
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Grant; Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007547; Grant-Number-R01-OH-007534
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division