firefighters sleep problemsA recently concluded research study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has revealed that many firefighters may have undiagnosed sleep disorders.

Researchers examined nearly 7,000 firefighters from 66 fire departments across the United States. Of those, 37% suffered from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, shift-work disorder and restless leg syndrome.

“These firefighters have also been found prone to car accidents or to have fallen asleep while driving”, the study findings have recorded. Chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety also have large probability among these firefighters, according to the research revelations.

“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,” which are heart attacks and car crashes, says Laura Barger, associate physiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders.

“Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated,” she says.

Research findings also state that “although the findings, reported in the November Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found an association between sleep disorders and certain health problems in firefighters, they did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship”.

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Filed under: InsomniaRestless Leg SyndromeSleepSleep ApneaSleep Apnea DiagnosisSleep Apnea NewsSleep Apnea ResearchSleep Apnea StudySleep Disordered BreathingSleep DisordersSleep Problems

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