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  • ACOEM Urges OSA Screening of Asymptomatic Adults in Safety-Sensitive Jobs

    July 7, 2016

    USPSTF Coordinator
    c/o USPSTF
    540 Gaither Road
    Rockville, MD 20850 

    To Whom It May Concern: 

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Draft Recommendation Statement — Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults: Screening.

    The conclusion that “that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for OSA in asymptomatic adults” looks only at health outcomes but does not takes into account the large volume of research that demonstrates a significantly increased risk of vehicular crash and decreased physical and cognitive performance found with undiagnosed and untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

    While USPSTF does list several special populations where this recommendation would not be applicable, we urge the Task Force to also include those working in safety sensitive occupations where the benefit of screening will far outweigh any minimal risks found for screening or treatment. Proper identification and treatment of OSA in those populations in safety sensitive occupations will not only significantly impact the safety of the individual, but also significantly impact the public safety of many large populations.

    Thank you for consideration of these comments.

    Sincerely,

    James A. Tacci, MD, JD, MPH, FACOEM, FACPM     
    ACOEM President

    Natalie P. Hartenbaum, MD, MPH, FACOEM
    Chair, ACOEM Transportation Section