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Monday, November 17, 2014

Heart Attacks and Motor Vehicle Crashes, Leading Causes of Death for Sleep Deprived US Firefighters

Lack of Sleep Implicated in Heart Attacks and Motor Vehicle Crashes, The Leading Causes of Death for United States Firefighters

Firefighters Need Good Restful Sleep
Researchers found that 37% of 7,000 firefighters had at least one sleep disorder, making them about twice as likely to get in a crash than their well-rested peers.

They were also twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and more than three times as likely to report depression and anxiety, according to the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

That increased risk is especially important because over 60 percents of firefighter deaths are caused by heart attacks and traffic accidents, according to The New York Times. The National Fire Protection Association tracks firefighter fatalities; its records show that stress and other medical-related issues, which often result in heart attacks, are the leading cause of firefighter deaths.

Findings of the study, led by Laura K. Barger, PhD, associate physiologist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, are published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine today.
“Our findings demonstrate the impact of common sleep disorders on firefighter health and safety, and their connection to the two leading causes of death among firefighters,” says Barger in a release. “Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated.”
“If you can get these people evaluated and treated when necessary, you can improve the health of workers,” Laura K. Barger, an associate physiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the newspaper.

(1) 
Based on specific criteria, 66 US fire departments were selected to participate in a workplace-based sleep disorders screening and educational program. Approximately 7,000 firefighter participants were assessed for common sleep disorders.
(2) Firefighter Sleeping Picture: http://firefighterwife.com/blog/2012/12/01/sleep-well-my-love/
(3) Firefighter Sleeping Sign: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/fun-signs
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Original Article Published Below in full:
Firefighters with Sleep Disorders at Higher Risk for Motor Vehicle Accidents

Sleep disorders are independent risk factors for heart attacks and motor vehicle crashes, which are the two leading causes of death for firefighters in the United States. In a national sample of almost 7,000 firefighters, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) examined the prevalence of common sleep disorders and their association with adverse health and safety outcomes and found that sleep disorders are highly prevalent, and associated with substantially increased risk of motor vehicle crashes and cardio-metabolic diseases among firefighters.
Findings of the study, led by Laura K. Barger, PhD, associate physiologist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, are published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine today.
“Our findings demonstrate the impact of common sleep disorders on firefighter health and safety, and their connection to the two leading causes of death among firefighters,” says Barger in a release. “Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated.”
Based on specific criteria, 66 US fire departments were selected to participate in a workplace-based sleep disorders screening and educational program. Approximately 7,000 firefighter participants were assessed for common sleep disorders. Firefighters were also surveyed about health and safety, and documentation collected for reported motor vehicle crashes.
Participants reported current health status, previous diagnoses of sleep and other medical disorders, the likelihood of falling asleep while driving, motor vehicle crashes, near crashes, and injuries.
Researchers found that a total of 37.2% of firefighters screened positive for sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, and restless leg syndrome. Firefighters with a sleep disorder were more likely to report a motor vehicle crash and were more likely to report falling asleep while driving than those who did not screen positive. Additionally, firefighters with sleep disorders were more likely to report having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, and to report poorer health status, compared with those who did not screen positive.
“Occupational sleep disorder screening programs can identify individuals who are vulnerable to adverse safety and health consequences, including those that are leading causes of death in firefighters,” says Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP, chief, BWH Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. “This study provides the rationale for further research evaluating the effectiveness of occupational sleep disorders management programs on disease risk, mental health, and safety outcomes.”
Original Article at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/11/firefighters-sleep-disorders-higher-risk-motor-vehicle-accidents/#sthash.lrIGY9a7.dpuf---------------------------------------------

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