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Type: Journal article
Title: Impact of the new national health standard for rail safety workers on ischaemic heart disease risk factors in train drivers
Author: Ng, K.
Quinn, S.
Gill, T.
Hill, C.
Shanahan, E.
Citation: Internal Medicine Journal, 2013; 43(6):650-655
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1444-0903
Statement of
K.L. Ng, S. Quinn, T.K. Gill, C. Hill and E.M. Shanahan
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In 2004, a compulsory National Standard for the Australian rail industry was introduced outlining health standards that drivers must meet to be deemed fit to drive. AIM: To examine the trend in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) risk factors in train drivers between 2004 and 2009, following the introduction of a National Standard. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of IHD risk factors of drivers (n = 386) of an Australian train company, who underwent health assessments between February 2004 and November 2009, was performed. The Framingham Score for 10-year risk of coronary artery disease, body mass index (BMI), cigarette smoking, diabetes, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol were compared with that of controls at these two time periods. RESULTS: There were significant reductions in the rates of 10-year coronary heart disease risk/year (OR = 0.47; 95% CI 0.19, 0.75) in the train drivers compared with the control population. This was driven by a reduction in the rate of cigarette smoking (OR = 0.87; 95% CI 0.79, 0.96) and total cholesterol (OR = -0.05; 95% CI -0.09, 0.003) and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels (OR = 0.02; 95% CI 0.006, 0.03) between groups over time. This was despite an increase in BMI (OR = 0.10; 95% CI 0.01, 0.19). Conclusion: Following the introduction of a National Standard for drivers in Australia, there has been a significant improvement in the health of drivers. Such a programme may have a significant impact in this group of safety critical workers.
Keywords: Train driver; ischaemic heart disease; workplace intervention; health surveillance
Rights: © 2012 The Authors; Internal Medicine Journal © 2012 Royal Australasian College of Physicians
RMID: 0020130258
DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2012.02923.x
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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