Work stress related episodic hypertension among healthy bus drivers: a cross – sectional study in a Romanian city company transport

Introduction: Bus drivers are well documented to have and increased prevalence of hypertension (HBP). We are particularly interested in the role of work hours, scheduling, deadlines, as they might contribute to episodic HBP and safety issues. We also examined if there were any predictors for the blood pressure (BP) rises in driving time. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 84 male city bus drivers were followed using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). They were referred to Cardiology Unit of Emergency City Baia Mare Hospital. A trained nurse measured the BPs and set up the ABPM on the drivers’ left arms for BP recording every 30 minutes during the day. The subjects were allocated into normotensive and hypertensive based on the history of HBP. The difference among the no driving BPs and the driving BPs was examined by Student’s t-test in EPI – INFO 7 TM soft ware, followed by a multivariate analysis for exploring the main predictors for BP rises in driving time. Results: Of the 84 subjects, 22 (26.1%) were hypertensive. The mean age was 44.4 ± 7 years. In normotensive subjects, both mean systolic and mean diastolic BPs were significantly increased from 133.9 mm Hg and 79.1mm Hg in no driving period to 143.3 mm Hg and 89.5 mm Hg during driving (P = 0.0001). HBP was present during no driving in 35 drivers (56.4%) and during driving period in 60 (97%) subjects in the normotensive group. In hypertensive subjects, both mean systolic and mean diastolic BPs were significantly increased, from 138.7 mm Hg and 84.2 mm Hg, in no driving period, to 148.2 and 94 mm Hg, during driving (P = 0.0001). During driving period, 15 (66.7%) subjects in the hypertensive group have HBP. Overweight was found in 50%, obesity in 38.09% of subjects, with no difference between groups. Conclusions: Driving increased BPs systolic and diastolic averagely with 10/10 mm Hg in a population of bus drivers normotensives and hypertensives. Among healthy professionals this research evidenced high prevalence level of hypertension, overweight and obesity.

ISSN – online: 2734 – 6382
ISSN-L 1220-658X
ISSN – print: 1220-658X
The Romanian Journal of Cardiology is indexed by:
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CODE: 379
CME Credits: 10 (Romanian College of Physicians)