OBJECTIVES To facilitate decisions about interventions and to establish baseline values for future evaluation of preventive efforts, the aim of the present study was to elucidate the disease pattern among male professional drivers in Denmark. The study differentiated between drivers of goods vehicles and drivers of passenger transport.
METHODS Cohorts of all 20–59 year old Danish male professional drivers in the years 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1994 were formed, to calculate age standardised hospital admission ratios (SHRs) and time trends (1981–97) for many diagnostic aggregations.
RESULTS SHRs for diseases in practically all systems and organs of the body were higher among professional drivers than they were in the male working population at large. Also drivers of passenger transport, compared with drivers of goods vehicles, had significantly high SHRs due to infectious and parasitic diseases, diseases of the circulatory system, and diseases of the respiratory system, and significantly lower rates of injury. For both driver groups, the SHRs for acute myocardial infarction increased with time whereas the SHR for acute gastritis decreased, and for drivers of passenger transport an increasing SHR for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was found over time.
CONCLUSION Drivers of passenger transport and drivers of goods vehicles differ in their disease patterns. The results support the hypothesis that preventive efforts are needed in both groups, but underline that different strategies are required for different categories of drivers.
- professional drivers
- hospital admissions
- surveillance system
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