Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1996;22(3):211-215    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.133

Exercise testing of young, apparently healthy professional drivers

by Uglješic M, Belkic K, Boškovic D, Boškovic S, Ilic M

Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the responses of young, apparently healthy professional drivers to exercise testing.


Methods A bicycle exercise test was performed by a randomly selected group of 42 apparently healthy, male professional drivers aged 20 to 40 years and a group of 30 building workers, who formed a reference group.


Results The mean maximal exercise level was significantly lower for the drivers [139 (SD 32) W] than for the referents [155 (SD 31) W] (P<0.05). The mean systolic blood pressure and heart rate did not differ significantly between the groups at the end of the exercise, but the mean double product was significantly higher for the drivers. The mean diastolic blood pressure at the end of the exercise was 97 (SD 14) mm Hg [12.9 (SD 11.9) kPa] for the drivers and 79 (SD 19) [10.5 (SD 2.5) kPa] for the referents (P<0.01). The exercise was stopped due to diastolic hypertensive reactions [diastolic blood pressure >115 mm Hg (>15.3 kPa)] in 13 (31%) of the drivers and 3 (10%) of the referents (P<0.05). Eight of the thirteen drivers with a hypertensive reaction had three or more cardiac risk factors.

Conclusions There seems to be a high occurrence of diastolic hypertensive reactions to exercise among professional drivers. These reactions may be associated with risk of ischemic heart disease and hypertension. Further exercise testing of professional drivers is warranted. More sensitive methods may be indicated in selected cases, since the cardiovascular status of this cohort is a vital concern with respect to traffic safety.