Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2016;42(4):291-298    pdf full text


Self-reported occupational physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness: Importance for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality

by Holtermann A, Marott JL, Gyntelberg F, Søgaard K, Mortensen OS, Prescott E, Schnohr P

Objectives This study aimed to investigate whether workers with the combination of high occupational physical activity (OPA) and low cardiorespiratory fitness have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality.

Methods Using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, we analyzed 2190 males and 2534 females from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, aged 20–67 years and with no known CVD at study entry in 1991–1994, for the risk of CVD and all-cause mortality from independent, stratified and combinations of self-reported OPA (ie, low, moderate and high) and cardiorespiratory fitness (low, same and higher as peers) at baseline.

Results During a median follow-up of 18.5 years, 257 and 852 individuals died from CVD and any cause, respectively. In the fully-adjusted model, an increased risk for CVD mortality was found for those with low compared to high self-reported cardiorespiratory fitness [hazard ratio (HR) 2.17, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.40–3.38), for those with high compared to low OPA (HR 1.45, 95% CI 1.05–2.00), and for those with high compared to low OPA within the strata of low self-reported cardiorespiratory fitness (HR 2.83, 95% CI 1.24–6.46). Moreover, those with the combination of high OPA and low self-reported cardiorespiratory fitness had an increased risk for CVD mortality compared to those with the combination of low OPA and high self-reported cardiorespiratory fitness (HR 6.22, 95% CI 2.67–14.49). Rather similar, but lower risk estimates were found for all-cause mortality.

Conclusion These findings may have important implications for CVD prevention among workers with excessive cardiovascular strain at work.

The following article refers to this text: [online first; 02 November 2017]