What is the Impact of the Obstructive Sleep Hypopnea-apnea Syndrome on Employment for Military Personnel?

Research Paper Title

Impact of the obstructive sleep hypopnea-apnea syndrome treated on employment for military employment.


The diurnal hypersomnia associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects soldier employment and deployability. In this study, we examined the impact of OSA on the employment of soldiers on continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) therapy by measuring several items: work absenteeism using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire, diurnal hypersomnia, and career advancement.


A questionnaire was sent by regular mail to 940 soldiers with OSA on CPAP therapy who are insured by the French Military Healthcare Fund (Caisse Nationale Militaire de Sécurité Sociale).


Questionnaires were returned by 439 soldiers: mean age 47 years; mean body mass index 29.8kg/m2. Absenteeism reached 0.45%, and work productivity impairment 8.7%. Hypersomnia was reported by 15.4% and was severe for 9.7%. The average daily working time was 6.5 hours. Quality of life was improved for 91.1%. The military practitioner had diagnosed OSA in 19.6% of these soldiers and had prescribed treatment in 14.9%.


Residual OSA in these soldiers on CPAP therapy had little impact on work productivity impairment that was less than observed in populations with chronic diseases. In our study population, hypersomnia was less common than observed in the general population. An impact on career advancement could not be clearly demonstrated. Close medical follow-up is warranted in certain populations due to the persistence of severe somnolence in a significant number of patients.


Vanderperre, G., Nguyen-Huy-Thui, G., Marsan, P., Desjeux, G. & Marcaillou, M. (2018) Impact of the obstructive sleep hypopnea-apnea syndrom treated on employment for military employment [Article in French]. Revue d’empidemiologie et de Sante Publique. 66(5), pp.325-331. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2018.05.562. Epub 2018 Jul 17.


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