OBJECTIVE: High risks for locomotor diseases have been reported for bus and truck drivers in general; however, little is known about the specific risks of long-haul truck drivers. METHODS: Standardised hospitalisation ratios (SHR) for different locomotor diseases of bus drivers, long-haul truck drivers and other truck drivers were compared with each other and with the general Danish working population. RESULTS: Intervertebral disc disorders were more common among professional drivers (SHR: 119, 95% CI: 114-125) and of similar magnitude for cervical and non-cervical disorders. Both long-haul truck drivers and bus drivers had higher SHR for intervertebral disc disorders (SHR: 133, 95% CI: 114-155/SHR: 141, 95% CI: 129-154, respectively) than other truck drivers (SHR: 109, 95% CI: 102-116). The SHR for carpal tunnel syndrome was high among long-haul drivers (SHR: 163, 95% CI: 101-249) and for other truck drivers (SHR: 130, 95% CI: 108-156) compared to bus drivers (SHR: 110, 95% CI: 79-149). All drivers had high SHR for lesions of the ulnar nerve (SHR: 159, 95% CI: 119-207), especially bus drivers (SHR: 197, 95% CI: 116-311). Long-haul truck drivers had high SHRs for synovitis and bursitis (SHR: 150, 95% CI: 105-207), in contrast to other truck drivers and bus drivers (SHR: 103, 95% CI: 89-120/SHR: 87, 95% CI: 66-112, respectively). CONCLUSION: All groups of professional drivers experience high risk of various disorders of the locomotor system but type of vehicle and specific working conditions are associated with different health effects on the locomotor system.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2007, Vol 81, Issue 7