Risky driving behaviors increase as common sleep disorder wo
Older adults are more likely to develop sleep apnea. They also are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a car accident. Researchers monitored the driving and sleep habits of 96 older adults under real-world conditions. They used a commercially available take-home test to identify people with sleep apnea and measure its severity. Less than five breathing interruptions per hour is considered normal, five to 15 is mild sleep apnea, 15 to 30 is moderate, and greater than 30 is severe.

To assess driving habits, the researchers installed a chip into participants' personal vehicles and monitored their driving for a year, focusing on episodes of hard braking, sudden acceleration and speeding. In total, they collected data on more than 100,000 trips. Participants also were evaluated by researchers at the Knight ADRC for cognitive impairments and molecular signs of early Alzheimer's disease.

Even though all participants were cognitively normal, about a third had brain changes indicative of early Alzheimer's disease.
The study helps untangle the ways aging-associated risk factors such as poor sleep and Alzheimer's disease put older adults in danger while driving, and could aid efforts to find ways to maximize years of safe driving.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220420170509.htm