Circadian sleep propensity and alcohol interaction at the wheel

Sergio Garbarino, Lino Nobili, Pierre Philip, Giuseppe Plazzi, Claudio Campus, Elisa Morrone, Fabrizio De Carli
JCSM. 2016-07-15; 12(07): 1011-1017
DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.5938

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1. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 Jul 15;12(7):1011-7. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.5938.

Circadian Sleep Propensity and Alcohol Interaction at the Wheel.

Garbarino S(1), Nobili L(2), Philip P(3), Plazzi G(4), Campus C(5), Morrone E(6),
De Carli F(7); SALT group.

Author information:
(1)Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics,
Maternal-Child Health, University of Genoa, Italy.
(2)Center of Sleep Medicine, Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy.
(3)University de Bordeaux, Sommeil, Attention et Neuropsychiatrie, Bordeaux,
(4)Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna and
IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bologna, Italy.
(5)Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Department of Robotics, Brain and
Cognitive Sciences.
(6)Sleep Center, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Scientific Institute of
Pavia, Italy.
(7)Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology, National Research Council
(CNR), Genoa, Italy.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: The study was aimed at estimating the effect of alcohol
consumption, time of day, and their interaction on traffic crashes in a real
regional context.
METHODS: Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) data were collected from drivers
involved in traffic accidents during one year in an Italian region and in a
control group of drivers over the same road network. Mean circadian sleep
propensity was estimated from a previous study as function of time of day.
Accident risk was analyzed by logistic regression as function of BAC and
circadian sleep propensity.
RESULTS: BAC values greater than zero were found in 72.0% of the drivers involved
in crashes and in 40.4% of the controls. Among the former 23.6% of the drivers
exceeded the BAC legal threshold of 0.05 g/dL, while illegal values were found in
10.4% of the controls. The relative risk showed a significant increase with both
BAC and circadian sleep propensity (as estimated from time of day) and their
interaction was significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the significant interaction, even low BAC levels strongly
increased accident risk when associated with high sleep propensity.

© 2016 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.5938
PMCID: PMC4918983
PMID: 27166301 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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