379 Cardiovascular reaction to stressful situations in public transport drivers

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Abstract

Introduction

The job of a bus driver in public transport is characterised by an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. The present project has been focused on investigating the cardiovascular response to professional duties and work-related stress in public transport drivers with treated and untreated arterial hypertension vs the drivers with normal blood pressure values.

Methods

The study group were 61 drivers aged 37–58 years. Thirty of them had a hypertension: 15 subjects received systematic treatment and the other 15 had no hypotensive therapy. Normal BP values were found in 31 subjects. All the subjects had general medical examination, responded to a questionnaire regarding the risk factors and symptoms of hypertension, had 24 hour heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. The subjects were asked to write all the stressful situations at work while the monitoring of the haemodynamic functions was proceeding.

Results

Seventy-five conditions with different level of stresogenicity were identified and appropriate BP and HR values from the monitoring records were assigned. The statistical methods included analysis of variance and logistic regression model. The results revealed that in subjects with untreated arterial hypertension, the cardiovascular response to stressogenic conditions consisted in a higher increase in systolic BP (180/113 mm Hg) than in those with normal BP (144/94 mm Hg) or receiving hypotensive treatment (153/101 mm Hg); (p<0.01).

Discussion

The bus drivers’ job was characterised by a high level of work-related stress. Therefore, it’s necessary to undertake preventive measures to reduce the level of stress, e.g. by training in stress coping and conflict solving strategies and to periodically perform long-term monitoring of arterial blood pressure in the workers at risk. The study points to a high significance of the hypotensive therapy which, when combined with a healthy lifestyle, ensures a better tolerance of stressogenic conditions of the bus driver’s job.

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