HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 5 November 2020 - Arecent increase in bus accidents has raised public concerns about bus drivers'health in relation to road safety. According to a study in the latest issue of HongKong Medical Journal, Hong Kong bus drivers are at greater risk of hypertensionand other cardiovascular diseases than their non-bus driving counterpartsbecause of chronic overwork, physical inactivity, and smoking. In order toenhance road safety, researchers have called for actions against long workinghours and associated health hazards for bus drivers.
Themedical research team from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of HongKong conducted a survey on 255 bus drivers and 252 non-bus drivers in HongKong, aged 25 to 84 years. It was found that 80% of bus drivers work 10 to 14hours per day, with a majority of them having shifts of over 6 hours. Inaddition, less than 10% of them reported that they exercised for at least anhour on a daily basis. It was also discovered that nearly half of the busdrivers interviewed were smokers, compared with only 20% of their non-bus drivingcounterparts. In addition, over 60% of bus drivers had a systolic bloodpressure of over 130 mm Hg -- Hypertension Stage 1 as defined by the AmericanHeart Association, which was 10% higher than non-bus drivers.
TheQRISK3 -- a tool to assess a person's risk of developing a heart attack orstroke over the next 10 years -- was adopted by the medical research team. Theresults showed the relative risk among bus drivers was 2.41, compared with 1.84in non-bus drivers. The team attributed it to low exercise levels, poor jobsatisfaction, and long working hours. The findings also indicated that the oddsof developing hypertension in bus drivers was 1.62-times higher than in non-busdrivers, which could be a result of physical inactivity and smoking.
Theresearch team emphasised the importance of maintaining bus drivers' health inregard to road safety. It called for the implementation of appropriate measuresand provide bus drivers with regular health checks in order to safeguard busdrivers against overwork and associated health hazards.
The research paper has been published inHong Kong Medical Journal, please go for details in the original paper -
Cardiovascularrisk in bus drivers
Hong KongMed J 2020;26:451--6