Posted on Dec 05, 2012, 6 a.m.
Norway team reports on the costs of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea on long-term sick leave.
Sleep apnea, affecting an estimated 5% of the population, is a potentially life-threatening sleep disturbance. Borge Sivetsten, from the University of Bergen (Norway), and colleagues examined the separate and combined effects of symptoms of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea on long-term sick leave. The team used an historical cohort design with 4 years follow-up. Information on sick leave was obtained from Norwegian official registry data, and merged with health information from the Hordaland Health Study (1997-99). A total of 6892 participants, ages 40-45, years were assessed for self-reported symptoms of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. The researchers found that: “both insomnia and obstructive sleep apnoea alone were significant risk factors for subsequent sick leave, after adjusting for confounding factors;” and that: “Having both insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea increased the risk of later sick leave.”
Sivertsen B, Bjornsdottir E, Overland S, Bjorvatn B, Salo P. “The joint contribution of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnoea on sickness absence.” J Sleep Res. 2012 Oct 9.