Occupational Health Disparities Among U.S. Long-Haul Truck Drivers: The Influence Of Work Organization And Sleep On Cardiovascular And Metabolic Disease Risk

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Adam Hege PhD, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The organization of work has undergone vast transformations over the past four decades in the United States and has had profound impacts on worker health and wellbeing. The profession of commercial truck driving is one of the best examples. Particularly for long-haul truck drivers, changes in work organization have led to disproportionately poor physiological, psychological, and sleep health outcomes. The present study examined disparities in cardiometabolic disease risk among long-haul truck drivers and the general population, and the influence of work organization and sleep in generating these outcomes. Researchers collected survey data from 260 drivers, and blood assay samples from 115 of those drivers, at a large highway truck stop in North Carolina. Comparisons were made for cardiovascular and metabolic risk against the 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In addition, logistic regression was used to explore predictive relationships between work organization and sleep and risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease. There were statistically significant mean differences between the long-haul truck driver sample and the NHANES sample for both cardiovascular (3.71 vs. 3.10; p <0.001) and metabolic (4.31 vs. 3.09; p <0.001) disease risk. The truck driver sample was less physically active and had lower HDL cholesterol along with greater levels of smoking, BMI, and metabolic syndrome diagnosis. More years of driving experience and poor sleep quality were statistically significant predictors for both cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk. Study findings implicate elements of the occupational milieu experienced by long-haul truck drivers that induce disproportionate cardiometabolic disease risk. Sleep quality, largely compromised by poor work conditions and workplace environments, plays a significant role in increased risks for cardiometabolic disease. There is an urgent need for longitudinal studies of this critical occupational sector as well as intervention research centered on policy and systems level change.

Additional Information

Hege A, Lemke MK, Apostolopoulos Y, Sönmez S (2018). Occupational health disparities among U.S. long-haul truck drivers: the influence of work organization and sleep on cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk. PLOS ONE 13(11): e0207322. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207322. Publisher version of record available at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207322
Language: English
Date: 2018
sleep, cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, metabolic disorders, physical activity, work, employment conditions, truck drivers

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